Exchange District bouncer was off-duty during fracas, has been fired: owner

Winnipeg police allege a bouncer at an Exchange District nightclub stabbed three men early Saturday.

Charges laid against 37-year-old man for alleged involvement in stabbing after wedding social

Citizen nightclub sits at the corner of Princess Street and Bannatyne Avenue. (Bartley Kives/CBC)

Winnipeg police allege a bouncer at an Exchange District nightclub stabbed three patrons early Saturday morning in what Const. Jay Murray calls a "very unusual" incident. 

At about 3:40 a.m. on Saturday, police responded to a call outside the Citizen nightclub on Princess Street, where a private wedding social had taken place. Three men suffering from stab wounds were found outside the nightclub.

Police believe one of the patrons got involved in a verbal altercation with a bouncer and was escorted outside the bar, Murray told reporters at a Sunday morning press conference.

Murray alleged the bouncer then stabbed the patron with a knife. Two other patrons who attempted to intervene were also stabbed, Murray said.

Two of the victims remain in hospital in stable condition, he said.

"This is such an unusual one," Murray said. "I feel the vast majority of nightclub security in the city here conduct themselves in a professional and proper manner. So it's certainly unusual to hear of an incident like this. I don't think many people go to a bar expecting to have an interaction like this with security staff."

Shoes, clothing and bloody socks remain on a Princess Street sidewalk hours after a stabbing on July 7, 2018, hospitalized three people in Winnipeg's Exchange District. Police blocked off the corridor Saturday morning between William and McDermot avenues. (Justin Fraser/CBC)

He said a suspect turned himself in shortly before 4 p.m. on Saturday. Police have charged a 37-year-old man with three counts of aggravated assault and one count of possessing a weapon.

The suspect was not previously known to police, Murray said. 

Under Manitoba's Liquor and Gaming Control Act, knives, guns or other weapons are not allowed inside any club or restaurant with a liquor license.

Citizen nightclub owner Ahmed Hasan told CBC News the bouncer was not working at the time of the incident and is no longer employed by his nightclub.

Hasan said he plans to review security footage with police and does not know the people who were stabbed.

"I'm trying to find out what happened," he said in a telephone interview.

Exchange District condo residents Deborah Zanke and Steve Porter say they've complained about fights and noise outside Citizen nightclub. (Chris Stanton/CBC)

Deborah Zanke and Steve Porter, who live in a nearby condominium building, said the noise outside Citizen after patrons spill out of the bar at 2 a.m. is more disruptive than the din emanated from people leaving other nightclubs and restaurants on the west side of the Exchange District.

"Over the past 13 years, that building has gone through a couple of incarnations in terms of clubs and there's often problems there," Zanke said.

"At 2 in the morning on a Friday or Saturday night, it's not that unusual to have fights out front, to have loud noise, screaming and yelling [and] just nuisances to the neighbourhood. 

"We have the King's Head Pub right beside us over here, and those patrons leave at 2 in the morning and everything's fine."

Zanke and Porter said they have made numerous complaints to the Liquor and Gaming Authority and area Coun. Mike Pagtakhan, to no avail.

Hasan said he is not aware of any noise complaints about his nightclub.

Investigators comb the scene on Princess Street where a stabbing occurred overnight on Saturday. (Justin Fraser/CBC)

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