A recently released Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) report has shed new light on an alleged assault that caused D.C. police to order Marrakech Restaurant (at 2147 P St NW) closed for 96 hours earlier this week.
According to the report, which seems to vindicate Marrakech of improper conduct, the fight that broke out among several men inside the restaurant around 2 a.m. on last Saturday was “quickly defused” by members of the restaurant’s security.
The initial notice of closure, as first reported by an anonymous reader on PoPville, said that Marrakech may have violated D.C. Official Code when a bouncer allegedly put a male patron into a chokehold and dragged him from the building while breaking up a fight. It also alleged that restaurant management failed to “report the incident to the 911 system” after it occurred.
The ABRA report details exactly what led to several patrons being ejected from the restaurant’s “Aura Fridays” event early Saturday morning.
According to the report, a patron (named as C-1 in the report) was dancing when he bumped into another patron (C-2), causing C-2 to spill his drink.
C-1 agreed to purchase C-2 another drink, at which point C-2 and “several others” began punching and kicking C-1.
C-2 was then ejected from Marrakech by security. He later reported to police that he was choked and dragged while being ejected by a bouncer.
But the ABRA report says that claim is unsubstantiated. Security camera footage taken from the night of the incident shows a bouncer flagging down D.C. police with a flashlight just two minutes after the scuffle began. And neither the camera’s footage, nor a report given by Officer Herbert Rose, a D.C. police officer at the scene, indicated that the bouncer choked or dragged anyone in the restaurant.
Furthermore, Rose said in an interview included in the ABRA report that he “has no idea why MPD would close the establishment, nor why there was no investigation conducted prior to making that decision.”
“Officer Rose stated from what he observed,” continued the ABRA report, “Marrakech Restaurant appeared to do everything within regulation regarding MPD and ABRA requirements.”
The report concluded that Marrakech was in compliance with its ABRA licenses.
At an ANC 2B meeting last night in Dupont Circle, it was announced the closure notice would be allowed to expire, and that Marrakech would be allowed to reopen.
MPD was not available to comment at the time this article was published.
Photo via Twitter.com/Marrakech_DC