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Jones wants Impulse nightclub shut down

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said again Tuesday that he wants to close down a Capitol Street nightclub that has frequently been cited for after-hours violence.

Police arrested a man late Monday in the latest incident at the Impulse club -- a stabbing that caused the club to temporarily lose its liquor license.

Detectives have charged Roland William Willis, 22, of Charleston, with three counts of felony malicious wounding. Willis allegedly stabbed Kevin Clemens, 18, of Pittsburgh, three times in the stomach following an altercation that began inside the club at 205 Capitol St.

Clemens told detectives that Willis bumped into him on the dance floor and then called him a name, according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

Security cameras captured the altercation as it spilled out onto the sidewalk in front of the club. Police used Facebook to identify Willis from the footage.

Willis was being held Tuesday evening in South Central Regional Jail in lieu of a $50,000 cash-only bail.

Paramedics took Clemens, a student and football player at the University of Charleston, to CAMC General Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery on his liver early Sunday. He remained there in stable condition Tuesday evening.

Officials with the state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration suspended the club's liquor license for 10 days. Jones said the nightclub is operating on a special permit and that permit could be revoked. Either that or he would ask ABCA officials to revoke the club's liquor license permanently, he said.

Jones said Impulse owner Janet Amores and manager Robby Parsons promised to open a respectable nightclub when they requested the special permit in 2007.

"[Amores] said she wanted to do a really upscale place and I believed her," the mayor said. "She was not being truthful."

Jones accused Amores and Parsons of being greedy at the expense of customer safety.

"They let anybody in there that's got a buck, that's got $20 to spend," he said. "They take in $3,000 to $6,000 a night on the nights that they're open."

He criticized Parsons for being vague about where and how the altercation occurred. Parsons previously said the altercation happened at the corner of Quarrier and Capitol streets, rather than in front of Impulse.

Parsons also said Sunday that the victim had told him that nothing happened inside the club. He did not return phone messages Tuesday.

In December, Larry Martin, 23, was stabbed four times in the head and neck, and his cousin, Joseph Lucas, 27, was hit over the head with a beer bottle. Police said the altercation began inside the bar, but Amores previously said it occurred on the street.

Last May, police said there was an altercation involving up to 20 people outside the club. At some point during the brawl, a large window at nearby Ellen's Homemade Ice Cream was broken out.

Jones said in the future he wouldn't give a special permit to a club at that address unless they installed a full-scale kitchen. Any club that's in the liquor business and doesn't serve food is asking for continued trouble, the mayor said.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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