By Mary Pat Flaherty
The owners of District club DC9 lost a bid Wednesday to reopen after members of the District’s Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration unanimously voted to keep it shuttered in the wake of an October incident in which five club employees were accused of beating a man who died outside the popular nightspot.
District prosecutors dropped charges against the five employees on Nov. 5, saying evidence available at that point did not support the case.
The employees have said they are innocent.
DC9 is on Ninth Street near U Street in Northwest.
Another hearing on the club’s reopening is set for Dec. 1, said alcohol board spokeswoman Cynthia Simms.
Simms said the board voted to keep the club closed after expressing concern that results from the medical examiner’s office are pending in the death of Ali Ahmed Mohammed, 27, of Silver Spring.
Police said the employees chased Mohammed after he threw a brick through the club window after being denied admission.
The liquor control board also had asked DC9 owners to submit an enhanced security plan and staff training program, Simms said. The records were presented Wednesday at the hearing but board members had not had time to review them which also contributed to the vote, Simms said.
Prosecutors dropped charges in November against the five men days before they were scheduled to appear in court for aggravated assault. Prosecutors would have had to convince a judge that the evidence was strong enough to move forward.
Dropping the charges enabled authorities to continue their investigation and preserved their option to refile charges.
The death and investigation has prompted intense responses both from supporters of the DC9 employees and from family and friends of Mohammed.