VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - An ABC agent testified in court Wednesday saying the type of entertainment available at a Beach club is what led to multiple crimes.
Court hearings began Monday afternoon in the City of Virginia Beach's effort to take away Club Royale Blue's ABC, or liquor, license.
The city claims the club has allowed the "establishment to become a meeting place for persons committing serious criminal violations of the law on or immediately adjacent to the premises so frequent and serious as to be deemed a continuing threat to public safety as provided in Virginia Code 48-17.1."
Virginia Beach Police say they have responded to the club 111 times in the last 16 months, 45 of which were felonies. In August, Sammy Dawkins was struck by a bottle and killed while on the club's dance floor.
"That was the straw that broke the camel's back," said ABC special agent Craig Carmen who testified in court Wednesday, referencing that incident as the trigger to him filing a violation report for the club to lose its ABC license.
Carmen had worked undercover at the club and testified about his experience.
"When I went into the club with a female agent undercover, people would brush up against me," Carmen said."I think they were trying to see if I had a gun. I felt very uncomfortable. Quite frankly, I felt scared to be in this club as a 52 to 54-year-old white man."
Carmen then described the music in the club as being a possible trigger to violent behavior.
"It's angry, anti-government music that leads to those types of problems in the club," Carmen said. "In my opinion, it's the type of entertainment at Club Royale Blue, which is hip-hop and rap music, that leads to the crimes committed in the club and outside the club."
Virginia Beach Deputy City Attorney Chris Boynton, who called Carmen to the stand, was taken back by the testimony.
"I was surprised but again that was his personal opinion and that is not the city's position," Boynton said. "That is not any suggestion the city has ever made to the club. He is an agent of the state and has nothing to do with the city."
The club's attorney, Kevin Martingayle, responded to Carmen's comments saying that the club does not make assumptions regarding the music choice.
"It sounded like it is discriminatory and profiling, and my client (Barry Davis) is not going to do that. We are not going to have old stereotypes," Martingayle said. "I think that is something a lot of people in law enforcement think and it's hard to get people to admit that. We are not going to make assumptions of certain types of music or certain types of people."
Norfolk Police are investigating the cause of death for male found unconscious on the beach.
Suffolk Police are seeking the identify of a man who robbed a Radio Shack Saturday morning, armed with a sawed-off shotgun.
A North Carolina man was arrested in Suffolk Saturday morning, accused of raping a woman he knew.