Maspeth club fire bombed one day after nearby shooting

By Gabriel Rom

The Queens strip club which Knicks’ player Cleanthony Early visited before getting shot Wednesday was hit by a Molotov cocktail early Thursday morning, police said.

Police said an unknown number of suspects threw a firebomb through a window of the CityScapes Gentleman’s Club on 58th Street in Maspeth at around 5:30 a.m.

Arson investigators were on the scene Thursday afternoon. Police said no one was injured in the firebombing attack.

Early’s troubles began Wednesday morning when he was robbed and assaulted near 64-70 Maurice Ave., a few blocks away from the strip club, according to police.

Soon after Early left the CityScapes strip club in an Uber car, four to six men demanded that he hand over his jewelry and gold tooth caps, according to police.

In the ensuing robbery Early sustained a single gunshot wound to his right leg, police said.

EMS then rushed him to Elmhurst Hospital. He was soon transferred to New York–Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan. where he is listed in stable condition.

Police said no arrests have been made in either incident and investigations were ongoing. But a report in the New York Post said the robbery and shooting of the Early might be linked to three other recent assaults of men leaving strip clubs in Queens and Brooklyn.

Early joined the New York Knicks in August 2014 after leading the Wichita State’s Shockers through a historic undefeated season.

“We are aware of what occurred with Cleanthony Early this morning and are relieved that he is not in a life-threatening situation,” the New York Knicks’ press office said.

Players from around the National Basketball Association sent condolences to Early and his family.

“My thoughts and prayers go up for Cleanthony Early..#Nbabrotherhood,” tweeted Dwyane Wade, the Miami Heat player.

Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.