Police called again to break up hookah lounge crowd
Updated 9:41 am, Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Police called to Sky Hookah Lounge by the owner looking for their help breaking up a fight early Saturday -- the second consecutive weekend -- also found the crowd in the Kings Highway East smoking parlor exceeded its legal capacity.
That citation prompted town officials to begin an investigation into possible code violations at Sky Hookah.
The call from owner Anwar Malas was received by police just before 1 a.m., and was followed by several calls to the emergency dispatch center from patrons, reporting that about 20 people were fighting inside the establishment. However, no arrests were made in connection with an altercation.
There were people standing outside the lounge on the sidewalk when officers arrived, while inside all the seats in the two rooms were occupied and others were standing "shoulder to shoulder," according to the report. Officers estimated there were about 80 people in the hookah lounge; the certificate of occupancy limits the number of patrons to 66 -- 33 in each of the two rooms.
The report said the jammed patrons were knocking over hookah pipes, which were then stepped on because of the excessive crowd. Malas asked police for help in shutting down the lounge for the night, which officers did at the time.
However, an officer on patrol around 3 a.m. noticed the lounge had reopened.
Malas told police he had a private party scheduled for 2 a.m., and there were 54 people in the lounge.
"He was warned for exceeding the occupancy limit," police Sgt. Suzanne Lussier said, "and there will be follow-up investigation into possible violations."
Malas has called police previously seeking help in shutting down the hookah lounge, and last week police also received a complaint about loud music emanating from the lounge. When he was informed of the complaint, police said, the music was turned down.
Another local smoking parlor, the Casablanca Hookah Lounge on the Post Road, was shut down for safety and code violations that police said they discovered while investigating complaints of underage drinking at the lounge.