NYC Won't Charge Bouncer Slaying Suspects
NEW YORK -- The district attorney will not file charges against two men arrested in the fatal stabbing of a nightclub bouncer who police say was trying to enforce the city's new ban on smoking in bars and restaurants.
Police officials announced the decision early Tuesday following an investigation into the stabbing of Dana Blake, 32, who died about 11 hours after a fight Sunday at an East Village nightclub.
"There are facts and circumstances that we are still investigating," said district attorney's spokeswoman Barbara Thompson.
Police had arrested two brothers, stockbroker Jonathan Chan, 29, and medical student Ching Chan, 31, shortly after the fight on charges of assault, criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.
Investigators initially believed Blake was stabbed in a fight with the brothers, but the medical examiner's office now is trying to determine whether he may have been cut by a piece of glass from a broken bottle, police said.
The medical examiner's officer did rule the death a homicide, the classification used for any death resulting even indirectly from human action.
No weapon was recovered at the scene, police said.
Neither the brothers nor their attorneys could immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.
According to police, Blake approached the men about 2:30 a.m. Sunday to tell them they could not smoke in the bar.
Police spokesman Michael O'Looney said witnesses told police that harsh words were exchanged and the brawl began when Blake tried to eject Jonathan Chan. A third man and a woman, identified as the brothers' older sister, then intervened. But no one had a clear view at the point when Blake was injured.
The ban that took effect last month, pushed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, extended smoking curbs to bars and small restaurants. Owners whose patrons smoke can be fined or have their licenses suspended.
Tony Blake, the victim's older brother, said Sunday he blamed the death on "this stupid cigarette law."