DRUGGIES' CLUB 'PASS'
The bouncers at the Sound Factory dance club were ordered to stop throwing drug dealers out of the club because it was hurting business, a former security guard claimed yesterday.
"We were instructed to slow down because we were pushing out too many people," said William Douglas.
"I was told we can't throw all the patrons out of the party because there would not be a party."
Douglas testified at the federal trial against Sound Factory owner Richard Grant and security aide Randell Rogiers. The defendants are charged with five counts of turning the cavernous Hell's Kitchen club into a drug den.
Douglas answered to Rogiers and director of security Ron Coffiel.
Douglas was employed by International Protective Services Agency. On the weekends, he and up to 25 of his employees provided security detail at the Sound Factory.
He said drug use was so prevalent that patrons blatantly asked bouncers if they sold drugs, or inquired about where they could get them.
Douglas said he regularly saw customers snorting drugs.
He said when people passed out or were unconscious from drug use, he and other bouncers were instructed not to call 911.
Instead, the sick patrons -- some of whom overdosed -- were sent to a small room where employees threw ice cubes down their back, pinched them or supplied them soda to sober them up, Douglas said.
Douglas complained that people he threw out of Sound Factory for drug dealing would be welcomed back in.
During direct questioning by Assistant Manhattan U.S. Attorney David Berardinelli, Douglas estimated 30 percent of customers -- mostly the "regulars" -- avoid strict searches when entering the club.
But during cross-examination, Douglas admitted Sound Factory maintained two logs containing the names of troublemakers who were tossed out of the club for drug use or other inappropriate behavior.