Arts Desk

DC9 Death Clouds Venue’s Future; Owner, 4 Others Arrested; No Ruling from Medical Examiner

UPDATE | 2:56 p.m., Oct. 16: The defendants from DC9 were arraigned Saturday on charges of aggravated assault, not murder. Four of them were released, and the fifth will be released soon, as well. But the Washington Post says police may increase the charges again after the medical examiner rules on the cause of death.

UPDATE | 8:35 p.m.: The Washington Post says the case has not been ruled a homicide:

Officials at the Medical Examiner's Officer say they have not ruled Mohammed's death a homicide. They would not elaborate. Police had called a press conference for 3:45 p.m. Friday to possibly amend the charges, according to sources. But that news conference was canceled.

"We don't have cause of death yet," Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in an email. The autopsy was not yet complete, she said.

So far, those arrested have not yet been arraigned.

UPDATE | 5:30 p.m.: Washington City Paper's Brendan Baumgardner talks to a number of DC9 neighbors to take the pulse of the neighborhood following Friday morning's death.

UPDATE | 4:52 p.m.: The cause of death is still pending and according to TBD, the medical examiner's office "was 'leaning away' from deeming the man's death a homicide." Via DCist: "An arraignment in the case was originally scheduled to take place this afternoon, but has been postponed until tomorrow at 11 a.m."

UPDATE | 1:02 p.m.: Some DC9 shows for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday have been moved to the Rock & Roll Hotel. On its website, DC9 says:

We are deeply saddened by the tragic events that have occurred. Our condolences go out to the family of the victim.

We first and foremost support our friends, family, and employees of DC9. DC9 is a special environment of some of strongest friendships that could only be compared to a close family, which we consider ourselves.

We very much look forward to our day in court

Stand strong bars & stars

As more details about the incident have come to light, some have questioned the MPD's versions of events. Via TBD:

DC9 manager KT Robeson says that the victim was not beaten, but merely restrained. "Whatever he died from had to do with something pre-existing," Robeson says. "He was not beaten, that is a lie." Another DC9 employee told ABC 7 a similar tale, saying DC9 employees were holding down the man, waited for police to arrive, and watched police put him into the back of a cop car.

Developing ...
UPDATE | 12:16 p.m.: An MPD spokesperson says the victim is 27-year-old Ali Ahmed Muhammed. DC9 co-owner Bill Spieler is one of the four five DC9 employees charged with second-degree murder, MPD says. The other four are: Darryl Carter Jr., Reginald Phillips, Evan Preller, and Arthur Zaloca Zaloga—all employees of the club.

The spokesperson said MPD is moving to shut down the club for 96 hours under the police chief's emergency powers. TBD has reported that employees of the club say Muhammed was restrained, not beaten.

Original post:

Early this morning, a man was beaten outside of DC9 at 9th and U streets NW, and later died of his injuries. According to the The Washington Post and TBD, he threw a brick through the club's window, at which point five people emerged from the club, chased him down, and "severely beat him." Police were notified and the man was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Five suspects have been arrested. According to Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham, the suspects are employees of the club. He writes in a message on the U Street News e-mail list this morning:

An intoxicated person was put out of DC-9 at 1940 9th St. He returned and somehow managed to gain admittance. And was put out again. He then returned and threw two bricks (perhaps at one of the employees?) which broke the window. (Earlier that night, another patron had punched and broken a window, he was arrested for that again earlier in the evening.)

Bar employees chased the man down to the 2000 block, caught him and beat him. MPD arrived and he was transported to the hospital where he died.

Five DC 9 employees have been arrested and charged, some—at this hour—with homicide. Arraignment is this afternoon.

There are questions unresolved in this matter. But MPD is now considering using the emergency police powers of the MPD Chief to shut the establishment for up to 96 hours, allowing the ABC board hold a hearing to consider possible suspension of the alcohol license.

With a high-profile violent incident being tied to nightclub, is the indie venue toast?

In the short term, DC9's next few nights include scheduled shows by My Dear Disco, Futurebirds, Light Pollution, and MillionYoung. My Dear Disco was originally going to perform tonight at the new Red Palace, which shares a booker with DC9. This week was to be the Red Palace's first, following a merge of the venues the Red and the Black and Palace of Wonders. But the first two concerts at the Red Palace had to be canceled—Friday night's My Dear Disco show was moved to DC9, Saturday's Xiu Xiu show was canceled altogether.

Stay tuned for developments. Police Chief Cathy Lanier will give a statement in front of MPD headquarters at 11:45 a.m., an MPD spokesperson said.

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  • Kim Ha

    'restrained' to death.

  • Travis

    Update your info. The man was held by the employees of DC9 until MPD got there. Seems to me MPD did it and blamed it on the employees of DC9. Their was witnesses to the the holding of the brick thrower by DC9 employees. Thank You.

  • Raul

    Travis,

    Yeah, MPD would beat a man to death for no reason. That makes total sense. Well, I'm never going to DC9 or the Rock & Roll Hotel ever again, that's for sure.

  • http://thehegemanmethod.com Jen Hegeman

    Five career, trained professionals that have overseen the safety of literally tens of thousands of people during their combined careers, are distilled to criminals by the press and the uniformed quick to hate. One individual, out of his mind, on God knows what, attacks people REPEATEDLY, with an object that could blind, maim or kill them, and HE is the "victim"? Every criminal profile would indicated escalation in intent and activity. He was out of his mind, if he would have had access to a gun, chances are he would have used it. Then what would the head lines read? Was he running to get a gun? It is a tragedy that this man lost his life, but what would be an even greater tragedy is to destroy the lives of good, decent, family men that I can proudly say I have know for 20 years and had the privilege of working with for some of the best of those years. Numbers never lie, tens of thousands to one.... If this man died due to being properly restrained by trained professionals then a pre-existing medical condition and/or excess of drugs and alcohol together with underlying psychotic tendencies are most likely the cause.

  • David

    "DC9 co-owner Bill Spieler is one of the four DC9 employees charged with second-degree murder, MPD says. The other four are: Darryl Carter Jr., Reginald Phillips, Evan Preller, and Arthur Zaloca—all employees of the club."

    Math please City Paper -- were four people charged with second degree murder or five?

  • FFF

    Raul: Why would you stop patronizing Rock n' Roll Hotel, a venue 30 blocks away with little or no connection to DC9 whatsoever? Are you also going to stop patronizing Tonic in Mount Pleasant, and the Third Edition in Georgetown?

    I'm going to go out on a (very sturdy) limb and say you didn't patronize these establishments before this article, either.

  • Al

    Yes that man IS actually the victim because he is...DEAD!!!
    Yes he should not have thrown the brick, and yes he could have done something worse...BUT....that's why there is law enforcement. You catch him and restrain him until the police arrives.
    Are you kidding me??? are you condoning the vigilante and barbaric behaviors of the owner and bouncers?
    would you like that to happen to you one day when you overreact, and you get beaten to death? UNBELIEVABLE!!!

  • Al

    my previous message was a response to Jen Hegeman's post. (the devil's advocate)

  • getalawyerandstfu

    Rock n Roll Hotel is actually owned by Joe Engler, who owns DC9. Someone needs to tell DC9 and their friends to STFU! Attempting to leak their weak ass case thru the boards and other statements. You guys think you can take on the MPD? Saying the guy "could have had a gun"? That he was just restrained and was not dead then the cops must of beat him up. What a buncha flunky ass logic. I don't want to see the DC9 folks go down either, but this shit has to stop. you are NOT helping the case...

  • RICKY

    This place sucked anyway and won't be missed. Every time I went in, there were a bunch of slopebrowed fratdouches standing around watching Ravens highlights or hockey games on the flatscreens. (What kind of "indie" venue has tvs showing sports??) I wanted to beat half of them to death myself.

  • DC

    Um...cops kill people for no reason all the time.

  • Ramtin A

    Yes the death of a DC local kid is a tragedy, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop labeling DC9 Club owner William Spieler is a murderer. He's an incredible businessman and friend. I can't believe this! Bill Spieler completely changed that 9th Street area in a great way for the better! When folks would get turned down at 930 Club for expired license, they found a home at DC9. Spieler was protecting Club DC9...Spieler and the DC9 employees were protecting his property for Christ's sake!! What would you have honestly done?!? This is ludicrous!

  • known

    hey, witch hunters -

    there were fights all night and this guy may or may not have been involved. this very well could have been internal bleeding or who knows what from earlier in the evening.

    the guy was obviously not in his right mind and also could have very well sustained injuries after he was placed in the cop car. i have personally seen cops drag someone out and use excessive force on a person freaking out in the back of a cop car. not that this is the case.

    it could have been anything.

    those guys at dc9 did *not* beat him.

    the truth will come out.

    p.s. this is semi-irresponsible journalism stating things about a case as they are fact before the facts come out, city paper.

  • j

    hopefully all 5 get convicted of 2nd degree manslaughter like they deserve. and dc9 gets shut down. how shameful to kill another person over something like that. we're getting pretty nasty in this country unfortunately.

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  • dcoldschool

    Update your facts, people.

    "Officials at the Medical Examiner's Officer say they have not ruled Mohammed's death a homicide. They would not elaborate. Police had called a press conference for 3:45 p.m. Friday to possibly amend the charges, according to sources. But that news conference was canceled. "We don't have cause of death yet," Police Chief Cathy Lanier said in an email. The autopsy was not yet complete, she said."
    Source: http://wapo.st/cD5Y4G

    Difficult to prosecute a 'homicide' if the ME won't rule it as such. Lanier should be slapped for talking smack this morning about 'vigilante justice' and people being 'brutally kicked to death' before she even had an autopsy. That aside from the fact that there was no ambulance and the 'critically injured' guy was taken away in an MPD car after 30+ minutes. We have your back, DC9.

  • http://www.grillery.com Ben

    With friends like Ramtin, DC9 doesn't need enemies! Sheesh

  • Mel.

    So much for "innocent until proven guilty." and for AL....I didn't know you were there while it happened...or are you just psychic. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED...SO CHILL OUT. Wait for this case to pan out before you judge. IDIOT.

  • Christine Rakes

    I agree, don't be so quick to judge. Nobody commenting on this page was there so there's no need to jump to conclusions. Get the facts first. Lanier is in for quite a shit storm, wasn't smart to jump the gun with these accusations.

  • dcnative

    I agree, there is no evidence at this time. Too many politicos = sheriff Lanier, Jim Graham, Wash Post all jumped to sensational conclusions prior to any fact finding.
    Witnesses state the guy was awake and alive when the cops came. No ambulance showed up. He died in police custody or at the hospital. Cause of death has not been released!

  • http://amamimus001.wordpress.com AMamiMus

    Is it possible that the ME isn't ruling the death a homicide, because the victim's injuries and time of death place him in POLICE custody???

  • http://bound.org Johnny Panic

    "Yeah, MPD would beat a man to death for no reason. That makes total sense."

    Your right that would be almost as silly as MPD shooting a dog in the middle of a street fair, or using survalince equipment to blackmail men going in gay clubs, or pulling a gun on a snow ball fight, etc. etc. etc.

    I will say as someone who has worked in the DC clubs for many years, and in that neighborhodd specifcally. You learn to defend your club, block and patrons. This guy was obviously belligerent and dangerous, who knows what may have been prevented that night by the actions of security. I have had a brick thrown threw a window while hosting a show years ago which hit my band, as well as guns pulled on me , etc.

    DC9 is a part of what made Ust alive again, I am confident what was done was just and necisarry

  • Johnny Rotted

    Everyone who has commented so far is a retard.

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  • mcs

    I hope they all sue the city and police for the words of the police chief. and give it to the family of the kid. and that would shut you all up.

  • dcoldschool

    UPDATE: The charges have been reduced to Aggravated Assault and all five men will be released today.

  • mikeinva

    charges for 4 of the men have been dropped to aggravated assault. well doesn't lanier look silly now?

  • known

    released, donkeys. you can put out your torches unless the march destination is mpd.

  • Henry Bean

    if this had been a white man beaten outside a go-go club, this city would be up in arms. this is a sad f--king case of racism. the friends of the suspects should keep their mouths shut until all the facts are in and show some respect for the deceased - regardless of his actions.

  • dcoldschool

    @Henry Bean - one of the accused is black, and one is latino. Please STFU about racism.

  • Henry Bean

    talking about the victim, you douche

  • Christine Rakes

    @Henry Bean - What are you talking about? Please elaborate. Because I'm really confused how this has anything to do with racism. And you're talking about waiting for the facts? You're already convinced this guy was beaten to death! Why don't YOU wait.

  • noodlez

    I LOVE HOW ALL YOU CRACKERS ARE CLAIMING DC9 REVITALIZED U ST. THE 930 CLUB SPILL OUT IS WHAT KEPT DC9 IN THE BLACK UNTIL WHITE FOLK DEEMED IT WAS OKAY TO MEANDER DOWN U ST WHICH DIDNT COME UNTIL MUCH LATER THAN WHAT SOME OF YOU NON-IMFORMED MOFO'S ARE CLAIMING! DONT GET IT TWISTED.

    ANY BLACK AND/OR LATINO THAT WORKS IN THAT PARTICULAR CLUB IS OREO LADEN. THAT MAN WAS KILLED AND RACE, ALCOHOL AND IGNORANCE PLAYED A PART IN IT. DC9 IS A ROCK CLUB THAT FOLKS, OTHER THAN ROCK HEADS, MAY FREQUENT PURELY FOR WHATS BEHIND THE BAR AND NOT FOR WHAT IS IN FRONT OF IT!

    @HENRY BEAN I FEEL WHAT U ARE SAYIN.

    WHAT REALLY GETS ME IS HOW THEY ARE TRYING SO HARD TO SPIN THAT SHIT. DUMB ASS BITCHES LIKE Jen Hegeman
    USING HYPOTHETICALS TO JUSTIFY THE ASSAULT; TO THE DEFENDENTS WACK ASS ATTY'S POPPIN OFF THAT INNOCENT UNTIL GUILTY BULLSHIT. THEY CHARGED THEM WITH ASSAULT NOW BUT THE CHARGES COULD BE UPGRADED LATER AFTER A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION.

    TO START BLAMING THE PO-PO'S FOR THIS GUYS DEATH (BECAUSE HE WAS "IN POLICE CUSTODY WHEN HE DIED") SHOWS THE LEVEL OF DESPERATION AND IGNORANCE ON ALL THOSE WHO SIDE WITH THE PERPS HERE ON THIS THREAD. THE POLICE PUT HIM THE CAR AND TOOK HIM TO HOWARD HOSPITAL WHICH IS ONE CITY BLOCK AWAY FROM DC9. THE POLICE FOUND HIM AT 2:30 ALREADY UNCONSCIOUS AND NOT BREATHING AND HE WAS PRONOUCED AT 3:15. DO THE MAFF! THAT BASICALLY PROVES THAT THE GUY HAD ALREADY TAKEN HIS LAST BREATH ON THE STREET.

    SPEAKING ILL OF MPD IS NOT A GOOD THING ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY HOLD THE BALANCE OF YOUR LIFE IN THEIR HANDS. BUT GENTRIFIERS WOULDNT KNOW THAT BECAUSE THEY DONT LIVE IN THE REAL DC THEY JUST COME TO VISIT FAKE ASS HOT SPOTS LIKE DC9.

    YOU KNOW THE SAD PART OF ALL THIS IS THAT THE PERPS KNEW HOWARD HOSPITAL IS ONLY A BLOCK AWAY AND INSTEAD OF RUNNING BACK INTO THE BAR WHY DIDN’T ONE OF THEM RUN OVER TO THE HOSPITAL AND GET SOME HELP FOR THE GUY. THEY LEFT HIM THERE ON THE COLD PAVEMENT TO SUFFER AFTER THEY FINISH DOING WHAT THEY DID. THE GUY MAY HAVE BEEN DRUNK AND HE MAY HAVE DONE A JUVENILE THING BUT ONE THING FOR SURE IS THAT HE DIDNT DESERVE TO DIE!

  • adure

    kill americans abroad!

  • Spunky Dilfersonburg

    You know noodlez its racist dumbass douchebags like you that make me glad I moved out of DC to San Francisco two months ago you stupid motherfucker. I lived on W street for nearly 10 years and saw the neighborhood change for the way better during that time and DC9 was a small part of it along with Dukem and The Islander and other decent restaurants and clubs. 9:30 had little to do with U St. revitalization, or no more that the Velvet Lounge or Ben's Chili Bowl. They were all there long before U street was made "pretty". BTW Howard Hospital is a lot farther than one block away, asshole.

  • Shawresident

    Whether DC9 employees and owner beat this man to death or not does not change the fact that they ran after this man, and apparently with the intent to "restrain" him. Why? The sensible thing to do would be to call the police and stay in your establishment if you are trying to protect it. If he was not in his right mind, he could have had a gun, knife or any other weapon. Why put yourself at risk? If the guy had shot through the window, would they have chased him down? Makes no sense to me.

  • Mary

    this does not look good. If he was leaving why did they bother to chase him? Why not just call the cops especially if he was leaving?

  • Arnie Davis

    im so sick of people whining and crying when a criminal gets killed while commiting a crime. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Good riddance. I wish these things would happen more often.

  • Cause of Death

    It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out he died of a beating.

    They chased him, they caught him, they beat him to death, he died.

    Any fiction the DC9 supporters and family members try to inject into the story isn't gonna stick.

  • noodlez

    @Spunky Dilfersonburg 10YRS COCKSUCKER? WELL ITS 44YRS AND COUNTING FOR ME. YOUR BOY LOVIN ASS MOVED FROM DC TO SAN FRAN AND YOU CALLING ME A DOUCHE BAG? CHILD PLEEZE.

    JUST BECAUSE YOUR PUNK ASS NAME DROPPIN SPOTS ALONG THE U ST CORRIDOR DOESNT BEGIN TO QUALIFY YOU AS SOME FAKE ASS LOCAL EXPERT. IF YOU WASNT SO INCENSED WHEN YOU POSTED YOUR COMMENT YOU POSSIBLY WOULD HAVE MADE SOME SENSE AND NOT MISQUOTED ME.

    HOWEVER, I DO STAND CORRECTED ON ONE POINT YOU MADE. HOWARD HOSPITAL IS TECHNICALLY 3 BLOCKS AWAY FROM WHERE ALI WAS KILLED. BUT I WOULD SUSPECT THEY COULDNT WALK TO THE HOSPITAL TO GET HELP LET ALONE RUN THE 3 BLOCKS BEING ALL HOPPED UP ON BOOZE, COKE, ROCKS AND WEED.

    FUCK THEM AND FUCK YOU TOO! STAY IN YOUR LANE BITCH YOU DRIVING A BIT WRECKLESS WITH YOUR COMMENTS.

  • Steve

    Noodlez you are either the dumbest white try hard wannabe black idiot trying to troll up this place, or the dumbest black guy in all of DC. I grew up in Petworth and you better damn well believe if somebody threw a brick through anybodies window back then they would have gotten an ass beating. But you got to wonder why it is that the cops sat there with this guy in their car for 45 minutes before taking him to the hospital when they say he was as busted up as he was on the scene. Sounds like they are covering something up.

  • noodlez

    OHH STEVEE. OVER HERE STEVEE. I QUESTION YOUR COME UPPANCE IN PETWORTH. YOUR VERNACULAR YOU PENNED DOESNT SOUND VERY PETWORTHISH. " ... if somebody threw a brick through anybodies window back then they would have gotten an ass beating." ASS BEATING!?

    SLIM I PICTURE YOU IN YOUR RON CHRISTIE VOICE SAYING THIS SHIT TRYIN TO SOUND ALL TOUGH AND SHIT. (BY THE WAY IM LAUGHING AT YOU RIGHT NOW!) ALSO DONT GET ME STARTED ON THE GAY ANGLE OF YOUR QUOTE. BUT LET ME HELP YOU OUT. GIVE YA A LIL ADVICE WHEN YOU AROUND THOSE THANGS YOU HANG WIT.

    IF YOU WANNA SOUND TOUGH DONT TYPE "GOTTEN AN ASS BEATING". NEXT TIME SAY "WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THAT ASS WHOOPED" BUT YOU HAVE TO SAY IT WITH A LIL BIT OF BASE.

    TO YOUR POINT THAT PERSON MAY HAVE GOTTEN AN "ASS BEATING" BUT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ATTEMPTED BY ONE PERSON AND NOT FIVE YOU FUCKING SMILE HAVING ON YOUR FACE AS YOU WALK PAST FRESH MULCH REMINISCING ABOUT THE NASTY EPISODE YOU SWUNG WITH ONE OF THOSE DUPONT DOGGS. I DONT GIVE A FUCK WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE. THEY KILLED THAT BOY AND THAT IS ALL TO IT!

  • Keith B

    Can't criticize Steve's message so criticize him, right? Go fuck your own loose ass, noodlez. Anyone throwing a brick through a window anywhere outside Kalorama stands a good chance of everyone inside rushing to stomp them on the curb. Why don't you throw a brick through the door of the Skylark (they got no windows...) and see if the brothers that come out want to have a polite discussion about afrocentric living, or a one-on-one with gloves on.

    Don't mind noodlez, he posts all hater here since his old-ass dick doesn't work anymore and it's got his wife trolling for latin boys on Georgia Ave. DC will be a much better place once all the bitter old 70s-era racists like you, Rick Mangus and WARD4 are 6 ft. under. Progress!

  • tutu

    The most horrific part of this entire story is the fact that a fellow human being DIED...a very young one!!! And most of the focus is on the well being of club owner/employees, the future of their business or the police department. It is truely a sad day where compassion takes a back seat to everything else. What is our world coming to!?

  • Justice

    Travis, Jen Hegeman, Ramtin A, known, Johnny Panic, Steve FUCK YOU ALL. you should all be ashamed of yourselves trying desperatly to absolve the 5 killers in this case of MURDER. All 5 beat him up brutally in what MPD cheif Cathy lenier described as "VIGILANTE JUSTICE" BRAVO. now your friends (5 murderers) will all rot in jail for LIFE with SECOND DEGREE MURDER CHARGES comming back to get them.

    and also NOODLEZ i commend you on speaking out and telling the truth about what happened here. These idiots are trying to hard to spin shit they dont even know what reality is: i.e police "brutality" (no motive?), "preexisting condition" (no evidence).. etc.

    DC9 FAGGOTS keep trying to spin shit! lol NOVEMBER 8th your asses are SCREWED.

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  • Eran

    There ain't no way. Knowing (some) of these guys, it seems as likely as my dog suddenly reciting Shakespeare. At least I hope it's not true. Cathy Lanier's kind of a knob.

  • bella

    RIP Ali, your charge brick thrower..your verdict death in the hands of cockheads...!! We are united in this believe me and you know who we are.. We valued your presence and your life and we will always value you in death....

  • Fish

    Jen Hegeman and your type....Sounds like you are the delusional dopeheads. No one dies from getting properly restrained. When you restrain someone, the idea is to keep them alive until law enforcement takes over or something like that.

    It's just disturbing how people are trying to spin this. There is no evidence provided that states that the lives of the five men were so threatened that they had to chase this skinny dude and beat him to death(5 on 1...cowardice anyone?). Oh ya, the bloody pavement shows proper restraint by well trained bouncers. GTFOU

    Let's get this out of the way asshats. Mr Ali is not the first drunk to cause property damage and won't be the last. This was not some poorly trained bouncers or employees. The owner was part of this. The freaking owner. If this was an African American, a latino a gay man etc...the murderers are either looking at a hate crime charge, in Venezuela, under the ground or walking with 2 assholes. Here is why they took it this far. Because he was an African Immigrant. How is that for conjecture? How does that feel? To be character assasinated? It sucks doesn't. It sucks even more for the grieving family and community when one is beaten to death.

  • JehudiOne

    Bet you guys didn't know that once the police arrived on scene that one of the bouncers/killers from DC9 had some cocaine in his pocket. Blood tests will ruin these clowns

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