By Bill Parry
Two City Councilmen are turning up the heat on Club Purlieu, the Dutch Kills strip club that state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) called a “danger to local residents” after an unlicensed livery cab driver was shot in the head on March 4.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) rallied with members of the Dutch Kills Civic Association outside the club Monday calling for its permanent closure due to numerous violent incidents over the past year.
“Every week the NYPD has to waste precious resources patroling this bad business,” Van Bramer said. “These fights and violence put the residents of Dutch Kills, a family-oriented community in danger every night. This club is a clear and present danger and it needs to be shut down before someone dies. We’re calling on the State Liquor Authority to revoke Club Purlieu’s license and close the doors for good.”
According to the 114th Precinct, between June 2015 and March 7, 2016, a total of five criminal reports and 12 criminal court summonses were issued at Club Pulieu. A multi-agency raid shut it down March 10, but it reopened the next day after fixing the violation.
“This establishment has a history of criminal activity including violent assaults, fire safety violations and alcohol-related violations,” Costantinides said. “The most recent incident, the tragic shooting of an innocent livery driver, further demonstrates the escalating violence at this establishment has brought to our community.”
The driver, Roberto Castillo, 37, was shot outside the club, located at 36-04 34th St., after a fight erupted inside. He drove two blocks before crashing into several cars and a utility pole on 35th Street and 37th Avenue.
Castillo needed emergency surgery at Elmhurst Hospital Center and survived, according to the NYPD.
There have been no arrests and the investigation continues, according to the NYPD. Van Bramer and Costantinides requested that the NYPD’s office of Citywide Club Enforcement shut down the nightspot based on its violent history, citing among other incidents a gang-related brawl in which three people were stabbed in March 2015.
“Club Purlieu is a blight on our neighborhood and a continued threat to our quality of life and safety,” Constantinides said. “I thank the 114th Precinct for their continued work keeping this area safe and join the call for this establishment to remain closed permanently.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr