Bar Staff Scuffles with Anti-Violence Demonstrators in Allerton

Bar Staff Scuffles with Anti-Violence Demonstrators in Allerton
by David Greene

A few dozen demonstrators protesting a recent incident where one person was killed and four others were wounded outside of a local tavern, briefly scuffled with staff members of the bar who were unhappy with the unwanted attention.

In total, about fifty members of Stand Up to Violence (SUV) including members of the 49th Precinct Clergy Council and the Bronx Park East Community Association gathered on Thursday, August 23 at White Plains Road and marched across Allerton Avenue.

Members of SUV were drawing attention to the August 18 bar fight at the Bruxelles Lounge at 674 Allerton Avenue. As the fight spilled out into the street, 3 people were shot and 2 were stabbed in the mayhem.

Shaquasia Hodge, 24, suffered a gunshot wound to the head and succumbed to her injuries a week later.

On August 20, police arrested and charged Jordan Fredrick, 25, of Freeport, NY., who’s being charged with murder and three counts of attempted murder.

During the peaceful demonstration, with a police officer sitting in a patrol car and unaware, the bar’s young unidentified owner scuffled briefly with elderly demonstrator Israel Espinoza.

Espinoza, still feisty in his advanced years, recalled, “The man was disrespecting the pastor. The pastor’s praying and trying to bring peace to the community behind all the killings that have been going on here in Allerton.”

Espinoza, a former leader of the Latin King Nation and today is a motivational speaker and anti-gang advocate, added, “These people are beefing about someone standing in front of their business praying after all those people got shot. They should be worried about somebody trying to rob them or something like that, that’s what were trying to stop.”

Nearly 50 demonstrators protest outside of the Bruxelles Lounge, where 3 people were shot and 2 stabbed, one critically.–Photo by David Greene

The owner declined an opportunity to give his side of the story, but one staff member said of the incident, “It happened outside and police wouldn’t have caught that guy without our surveillance video.” The employee also claimed that no other police incidents had taken place at Bruxelles.

A day after the shooting the lounge posted a message to their Facebook page, that began, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the wounded victims of the incident that occurred on Allerton Avenue near Bruxelles Lounge.”

The message added, “We will not stop till he is found and justice is served. We also would like to clear up any confusion that many might misunderstand. This was not caused because of our lounge or our guests, it had nothing to do with us.”

Allerton resident Hiram Guadaulpe said of the bar and violence in general, “The violence has to stop, its crazy. There have been some incidents here when it had a different name. It has to do with attitudes and it starts at the top too, when you have the president acting the way he’s acting, anything can happen.”

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