CLUBGOERS SAY EVENT CANNOT BE CALLED A RAVE
FLINT - What started as a night of fun ended with handcuffs and strip searches for Flint resident Nathan Boisclair and 129 other music fans.
Boisclair, who works as a disc jockey in clubs and at parties using the name Halluci-Nate, was one of 130 people arrested Sunday morning when local police raided Club What's Next, 2511 W. Pasadena Ave.
Boisclair was on the bill to DJ at the Saturday night party, billed as "Getting Lucky," but police stormed into the club at 1:40 a.m. Sunday before he had a chance to perform.
"I saw two police come in and didn't think much of it, but more and more just kept coming in until there was a crowd of them in the place yelling, 'Get against the wall! No one ... move!' " he said. "I had just had a couple drinks, and here me and all these other people are getting arrested for not doing anything but being in a club."
Police and news reports have referred to the club event as a "rave"
because it was mostly advertised on the Internet and featured disc jockeys playing electronic music in shifts throughout the night. It was scheduled to end at 4 a.m. Sunday.
Whether that label actually applies - the event was held in a nightclub that has a liquor license instead of the usual rave locations such as abandoned buildings or public spaces - Boisclair and others ticketed think the raid was made to provide a high-profile bust to boost local drug enforcement efforts.
"I know they're doing their job and following orders, but you could go to any place where there are people and music and find drugs if you look hard enough," said Josh Camp, 24, of Burton, who was arrested and received a misdemeanor ticket for frequenting a known drug establishment.
"I didn't see anyone doing anything wrong, but I was just there to socialize with the DJs who I know and am friends with. ... You can't assume that everyone in a place is guilty just because of what a couple people are doing."
Camp and Boisclair said they were lined up against the club's wall, handcuffed for more than an hour, taken in groups into the club's bathrooms and strip searched by police who were looking for drugs.
Neither was among the 17 arrested on felony drug charges.
Camp, who owns the Modlife Records label that includes some electronic music artists, said he has thrown club nights similar to Getting Lucky in the past, but he tells police in advance and has never had legal problems.
Dezi Magby of Fenton, who performs as DJ Psycho but wasn't at Saturday's event, said the organizer of Getting Lucky is a former Genesee County resident who moved to West Virginia and came back for the weekend to organize it as a birthday party for a friend.
"I think he's a genuine guy, and he's a good friend of my family who came back here to do this night as a favor to someone," Magby said.
"It was like the second party he's ever thrown, and my first thought when I heard about what had happened was that it was screwy. ... It's kind of a blow to the perception of electronic music in the Flint area."
Police said the event's organizer, who goes by the name Jell-Oh and had not been charged Monday, is suspected of selling Ecstasy and the animal tranquilizer Ketamine.
Anthony Carter of Flint, known as DJ Hype, said he declined an invitation to spin hip-hop music at the event but made a brief stop at the club just after midnight.
"It was wild in there with a large amount of people inside, so many that it was too crowded for me to stick around," Carter said. "I didn't see anything going on as far as people dealing drugs in the time I was there, but there was one girl who looked like she was power walking through the club.
"You could tell she was in another place."