October 16, 2010

Man throws brick through window; beaten to death; then defenders charged with murder

WASHINGTON - A nightclub owner and four employees have been charged with beating a man to death after he threw a brick through the club's window, in a case of what D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier called "vigilante justice."

Ali Ahmed Mohammed, 27, of Silver Spring, Md., was denied entry to the DC9 nightclub along the U Street corridor around 2:30 a.m. Friday, Lanier said, but he returned to throw a brick through the window. That's when the club owner and four employees chased Mohammed down the block, then tackled and beat him, police said. When officers arrived, all five men were still on the scene and Mohammed was in critical condition, Lanier said. He was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"In my opinion you talk about a beating like this as a result of property damage, someone has lost his life in a savage beating in what appears to be vigilante justice, it's ridiculous," Lanier said.

Police say club owner William Spieler, 46, has been charged with felony murder. Employee Evan Preller, 28 has been charged with second-degree murder. Charges are still pending for three other employees: Reginald Phillips, 22; Arthur Zaloca, 25; and Darryl Carter Jr., 23. Zaloca is from Silver Spring, and the other men live in Washington. Lanier said she would close the club Friday. Emergency powers allow her to close establishments for 96 hours. The club has canceled or moved acts that were scheduled to perform over the next few days.

"DC9 is deeply saddened by the tragic events that have occurred," a note posted on the club's website Friday reads. "Our condolences go out to the family of the victim. ... We very much look forward to our day in court."

Other representatives of the club declined further comment. SOURCE: FOX

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