BY YVETTE BROWN
Club Purlieu has received a lot of attention in the past week after a cab driver was shot in the head while picking up passengers from the location; this caused the club to shut down temporarily. City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria), along with Community Board 1 and Dutch Kills residents, held a rally in front of the club at 36-04 34th street on Monday to have it shut down permanently.
Prior to the rally, Van Bramer released a statement regarding the temporary closure.
“I’m glad to announce that, working with community members and the 114th Precinct, we were able to temporarily shut down Club Purlieu—a bad business, with a history of arrests, shootings, stabbings and robberies, that wastes precious NYPD resources every weekend,” said Van Bramer. “But the fight isn’t over, and the club might be allowed to re-open as soon as tonight. We need to rally together to make sure the doors stay shut for good. Club Purlieu fosters violence, and it’s not the kind of business we want in our community or our city. That’s why we will rally on Monday morning at 9:30 in front of the club to demand that it is permanently shut down.”
On March 4, Roberto Castillo, a cab driver, was sent to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition after he was shot in the head. According to reports, Castillo had just dropped off four passengers when someone shot at the vehicle, hitting Castillo in the head. The shooter was allegedly aiming for one of the passengers. While critically injured, Castillo tried to to drive away from the incident, but slammed his SUV into a utility pole three blocks away from the club, according to reports.
Following the incident, police did a sweep of the club and found that there were multiple violations including open containers, public urination, consumption after hours, disorderly premise, failure to replace fire exit lights and failure to maintain fire extinguisher and fire exit lights.
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 Purlieu. A multi-agency raid shut down Club Purlieu last Thursday night, but it reopened on Friday after fixing the violation.
“Every week, the NYPD has to waste precious resources patrolling this bad business,” said Van Bramer. “The 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 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.”
Many of the residents in the surrounding area aren’t happy with the club either. They claim that there are multiple fights that break out after hours, cars blocking traffic and on some occasions shootings that lead to damages in property or people.
“I join my colleague Van Bramer and our community leaders in calling for the liquor license to be revoked at Club Purlieu. This establishment has a history of criminal activity including violent assaults, fire safety violations, and alcohol-related violations,” said Constantinides. “The most recent incident, the tragic shooting of an innocent livery driver, further demonstrates the escalating violence that this establishment has brought to our community. Club Purlieu is a blight on our neighborhood and a continued threat to our quality-of-life and safety.”
Reach Yvette Brown at (718) 357-7400 ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @eveywrites.