Leon Fooksman, Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale), Feb. 15
A shooting and a brawl early Monday outside Club Ovation in Boynton Beach has prompted its owner to end the weekly “Hot Chocolate Sunday” event that had a history of drawing rowdy crowds and violence.
Club owner Randy Grinter canceled the popular and controversial hip-hop event because he worried that he couldn’t prevent further trouble. On Monday, he again blamed city officials for not sending off-duty police officers to help keep order when the club closed.
There have been at least two shootings, two more reports of shots fired, two stabbings and fights outside the club in the past year.
The latest shooting happened Monday morning, when a man was shot twice as he was leaving the club and heading to a car, police said. The man, whose identity was not released, was treated at Bethesda Memorial Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
The dispute between Grinter and the city centered on stationing officers outside the club.
Grinter had offered to hire off-duty officers to work on Sundays, but police have said officers generally decline to sign up because of concerns about their safety.
Police demanded that Grinter hire private security to work outside the club. He said he hired up to six guards at a time, but said that even their presence hasn’t deterred the trouble. He said his security was allowed only on the sidewalk and not in the parking lot area where most of the problems take place.