Waterbury police shut down an illegal nightclub and hookah bar last weekend after a man was hit in the head with a bottle while trying to prevent a fight.
The assault remains under investigation but the crackdown led to seven other arrests, including of the family trio who were running the illegal club in the warehouse-type building at East Aurora and Gear streets, police said.
Police charged 32-year-old Rayner Carrasco, his 26-year-old wife Kelley Gonzalez and his 21-year-old brother Frederic Carrasco with illegal sale of alcohol, operating a bottle club without a permit, interfering with police and violating Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive order barring large gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The incident began just before 3 a.m. Saturday when police were called to the building for a report of a fight and injured man and saw a crowd of people leaving the building and peeling away in cars, according to a police report.
Officers found broken and empty liquor bottles scattered outside the main entrance and a pile of blood soaked towels on the ground, but a man later identified as 41-year-old John Jimenez tried to block police from entering the building when they first tried, according to the report. Jiminez was the first of several people in the building to be arrested for interfering with an officer.
Inside police found people still milling around everything needed for an impromptu club setup, including tables, bars, couches, speakers and stage lighting, plastic cups, coolers of ice and a receipt book, according to the report.
Police also seized 84 sealed liquor bottles, 113 sealed juice bottles, 48 hookahs and an empty metal lockbox with a small piece of cardboard inside with “$1,385” written on it.
Officers discovered the victim of the assault was transported to Waterbury Hospital before they arrived. That 40-year-old man suffered a 2-inch laceration on the back of his head and told investigators who met him at the hospital that he was hit with something while trying to break up and prevent a fight.
Investigators have not yet developed a suspect, they said.
Back at the warehouse, officers tried to speak with the Carrascos and detained both brothers after identifying them as managers of the operation and as Rayner Carrasco tried to leave the building, according to the report.
Other patrons, 27-year-old Kenneth Bibiloni and 30-year-old Romer Santana, refused to leave and also were arrested for interfering. Officers later found 23-year-old Felix Solano hiding in the back of the building and he was arrested for trespassing.
Gonzalez repeatedly interfered with officers and refused to comply with officers while they were interviewing other people at the scene before she was arrested, according to the report. Officers found $1,428 cash on her and seized it as evidence of the proceeds from the club after seeing the cardboard note in the empty lockbox.
Jiminez, Bibiloni, Santana, Solano all were charged with interfering with police all were released on written promises to appear at their next court dates in Superior Court in Waterbury.
Rayner Carrasco was released on $30,000 bond, police said. Frederic Carrasco and Gonzalez were released on $2,500 bond each. All three will be arraigned Nov. 19 in Superior Court in Waterbury.
Zach Murdock can be reached at email@example.com.
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