Club where Bell was shot loses liquor license, fined

By Ivan Pereira

Citing numerous violations concerning the owner's application for renewal, the New York State Liquor Authority ordered that the club, located at 143-08 94th Ave., stop serving alcohol immediately and that its owner pay a $1,000 fine, a spokesman for the agency said. Despite losing the rights to serve alcoholic beverages, the club still remains open, according to the spokesman.Official documents indicate that the liquor licensee submitted false statements about the club's Certificate of Occupancy, failed to request approval for a change in the identity of a person filing for the role of manager and permitted an employee unauthorized by the authority to use the liquor license.A manager for the strip club could not be reached for comment.This is not the first time the Kalua Cabaret has been in trouble with the law, according to the Liquor Authority. The strip club has been hit with numerous penalties since 2004, including allowing an employee to bring a weapon inside its premises and serving drinks to under aged persons. Prior to Friday's decision, the club paid more than $12,000 in fines, according to the state Liquor Authority.An undercover NYPD team investigated the club in November 2006 as part of a citywide crackdown on illegal activities at nightclubs and bars. On Nov. 25, 2006, Detectives Gescard Isnora, Michael Oliver, Marc Cooper and Paul Headley and Officer Michael Carey opened fire on Sean Bell,23, Joseph Guzman, 32, and Trent Benefield, 24, after they mistakenly believed that one of them had a weapon and was going to use it in an argument.Bell, who was at the club celebrating a bachelor party with his friends, was killed while the other two were injured and arrested. No weapon was ever found.Last March, Isnora, who began shooting and fired 11 times and Oliver, who fired 31 times and reloaded, were indicted on manslaughter and reckless endangerment charges, while Cooper, who fired four, was charged with reckless endangerment. The other two officers were not indicted.Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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