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Charleston club's liquor license pulled after stabbing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston Police made an arrest late Monday night in a stabbing that caused a downtown nightclub to temporarily lose its liquor license.

Officers issued a search warrant and arrested Roland Willis, 22, at about 10:30 p.m. Monday, police said.  

Officials with the state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration have temporarily suspended the liquor license of the Impulse nightclub on Capitol Street, after a bar patron was stabbed outside the establishment early Sunday.

"The reason we pulled it was to allow this investigation to continue," said ABCA spokesman Gary Robinson. "The fact that there have been previous issues there makes it a matter of public safety."

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said he spoke with ABCA officials following the stabbing incident. Robinson said the 10-day suspension began Monday. Further action against the club could follow.

There has been a history of fights and violence in and around the downtown nightspot, including a stabbing near the bar in July. Charleston city officials have threatened to shut the bar down in the past.

On Sunday, Kevin Clemens, 18, was leaving the bar when he was accosted by another man and stabbed multiple times in the abdomen, according to Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster.

Clemens, a student and football player at the University of Charleston, may not have initially realized he had been stabbed until the attacker told him to "check his innards," the chief said.

Webster said the attack was captured by video surveillance cameras. "It's right in the doorway" of the club, Webster said. "You can see them going at it."

Robby Parsons, manager at the club, said Sunday evening that the altercation happened at the corner of Quarrier and Capitol streets, rather than in front of Impulse.

Parsons also said Sunday that the victim had told him that nothing happened inside the club. But Webster said Monday that the two men had apparently had an altercation earlier on the dance floor, as Clemens was dancing with a woman.

Clemens is being treated at CAMC General Hospital and is expected to live, Webster said.

Earlier Monday, Webster said police had a suspect in the stabbing and were preparing an arrest warrant.

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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