2 stabbed in H Street nightclub in Northeast, one in the face; police arrest man who fled

Two men were stabbed early Saturday during a fight inside a Northeast Washington nightclub along the H Street corridor, according to D.C. police, who said one of the victims was in grave condition.

Police said that officers identified a suspect after witnesses pointed him out, but that the person managed to speed away in a car. Police spokesman Araz Alali said the man was arrested after a pursuit.

The stabbings came one week after five people were wounded in a shooting outside another club in Northeast, about three miles away in a neighborhood off New York Avenue. Police said those shootings occurred after several fights inside the club.

The latest violence happened about 2:25 a.m. inside Twelve Restaurant Lounge in the 1100 block of H Street NE, according to D.C. police. Alali said a police officer working as part of a detail that provides security to clubs that contribute money for salaries saw a man, bleeding from his back and abdomen, stumble outside.

Alali said another victim was found inside the club, sitting on a chair next to the front door, suffering from stab wounds to his face. Alali said the victim was unconscious and was rushed to a hospital, where his condition was listed as grave. The other man was in serious condition at a hospital.

Police identified the suspect as DeChristian Ansel Simmons, 21, of an unknown address. Alali said he was charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault and was being held pending his first appearance in D.C. Superior Court.

Assistant police chief Peter Newsham said Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier has ordered the club closed for 96 hours. She has the authority to shut down liquor establishments for that period of time if she determines there is a public danger. The owners can protest at a public hearing four days after the notice is issued.

Representatives of Twelve could not be reached Saturday.

The club is in a bustling corridor to be served by new streetcars. Several popular bars and restaurants have opened in the 1300 block of H Street, but other areas remain less developed, including the block where Twelve is located. It advertises as both a restaurant and a spot for live entertainment, promoting a mix of music from rock and reggae to hip-hop.

The shootings on May 17 occurred about 2:45 a.m. near the Scene club in the 2200 block of Adams Place.

Police said more than 350 people were there listening to two live bands when several fights broke out. Security kicked out the combatants, but others followed and the dispute continued on the street, according to a summary Lanier provided in a letter to the District’s liquor board.

One man opened fire on the crowd, Lanier said in her letter, wounding five people. One man was hit in the chest and seriously wounded, the chief said. Lanier used her authority to order the club closed, calling it a threat to public safety.

Lanier said the bar did not request a police detail to help with security, which the owner agreed to do after a shooting there in 2012.

The Scene’s owner told police that the event was a fundraiser for a person killed in a car accident, according to a police report.

The D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration revoked the Scene’s liquor license Wednesday, according to its docket.

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