Police refer to Sky Lounge as problem area

Providence police officers testified at a city Board of Licenses hearing Monday that they've had issues with violence in the past at the Sky Lounge.

The club on Broad Street was closed for 72 hours after Friday's gang-related shooting where a patron was shot. Police are asking the board to permanently close the club.

The Sky Lounge is owned by Salacruz LLC.

The club's attorney, John Ciolli, asked the board for a continuance. The board granted the continuance, but still heard testimony about the night of the shooting.

Police said the shooting happened at about 1:20 a.m. Friday in the club's parking lot. During their investigation, police said several men were holding down another man, and told officers that the man had shot someone.

While officers said they didn't recover a gun or shell casings at the scene, the victim had a gunshot wound on his right shoulder and several witnesses told police the victim, suspect and other associates were in the club before the shooting.

"I've had issues with this establishment," said Lt. Oscar Perez.

Perez testified that his officers have received several calls near the lounge, responded to an assault at the club and said several patrons have come in to file police reports after visiting the Sky Lounge.

In 2012, the board closed the venue when it was Club Dubai and under different ownership.

Despite the past history, police said Salacruz LLC didn't ask them to help monitor the property.

Ciolli said the club does keep six security guards on hand and more during special events.

"Our client would like the opportunity to tell their side of the story," he said.

The hearing will continue Thursday. The club remains closed.