Business owners take action after 5 stabbed at hookah bar

by: Alexa Ashwell, Elsa Gillis Updated:

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UNIVERSITY CITY, N.C. - Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have received 70 calls for help from a plaza in University City in the last year, Channel 9 has learned.

At least a dozen of those calls were associated with Red at 28th, including this weekend, when a fight inside the hookah bar and lounge ended with five people stabbed and shots fired in the parking lot.

Police were called at 2:09 a.m. Sunday to the hookah bar and lounge on Pinnacle Drive.

An Instagram video from a cellphone was posted just hours after the melee.

Police said  two people suffered critical injuries during the fight.

Three of the five people have been released from the hospital.

“We're putting down the guns and now we're picking up knives and stabbing people,” said Will Adams, a community activist.

A person was shot in the same parking lot a few weeks ago.

Red at 28 owner Jaz Vincent is organizing a town hall meeting at his hookah lounge, and Adams plans to attend.

“It actually does show that they care about their establishment,” Adams said. “They care about the patrons that go there.”

Vincent told Channel 9 on Sunday that he plans to hire more security guards and purchase metal detectors and ID scanners.

“I feel a calling. I need to step up and do something about it, and I think it starts with that meeting,” Vincent said.

Police said they are interviewing the five men who were stabbed, as well as witnesses, as they try to determine what started the fight.

Adams said an important part of the meeting will be reinforcing the idea that those with information need to speak up and report it to police.

“It takes the community. You know something, you've got to tell it,” Adams said. “We can't sit back and not say anything."

A townhall meeting will be held at Red at 28th on Pinnacle Drive Wednesday at noon.  

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