Man stabbed inside club

In the second major incident of violence involving patrons of Pepper’s nightclub within the last month, police said a man was stabbed in the back inside the West Bay Road club early Wednesday morning.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said a 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the stabbing soon after the crime occurred.

Police were actually called from the George Town Hospital around 1.45am Wednesday, after a 911 report that a 25-year-old man had been taken there by private vehicle with a serious stab wound to his back.

The victim remained hospitalised at press time, but police expected he would survive the injury.

Officers later determined the attack occurred inside Pepper’s.

Less than a month ago, on 23 February, a man who was leaving Pepper’s was shot in the face through a car window by someone who witnesses said snuck up behind him.

The victim in the shooting was treated and has been released from hospital. A suspect has been arrested and charged in that attack.

The nightclub, which is just north of the Grand Cayman Beach Suites on West Bay Road, has been a problem spot in the past for police. It was just recently placed on probation following a Liquor Licensing Board meeting earlier this month.

The probation status means the board must review the club’s licence at its next meeting in June.

At the board hearing earlier this month, a representative of Casa Caribe Condominiums voiced an objection against Pepper’s retail liquor licence and music and dancing licence. The condos are near the club.

‘We basically objected to noise, people parking in our parking lot and the violence taking place over there,’ Effie Mitchell-Johonson said (see Caymanian Compass, 11 March). ‘It’s getting worse and worse.’

Pepper’s licensee, attorney Lloyd Samson, told the Compass earlier this month that he was willing to address the issues raised by Mrs. Mitchell-Johonson. However, he said it would help if the condo development had its own security.

‘We’ll do everything in our power to prevent this sort of thing happening in the future,’ Mr. Samson said.

The club has also asked the RCIPS to station officers in its parking lot around closing time to alleviate the problems.

Mr. Samson has previously said that Pepper’s security force is about twice as large as what is required for the size of the establishment.

Liquor Licensing Board Secretary Marva Scott said the board has in the past received quarterly reports about violent incidents at Pepper’s whenever they happen. However, she said that Pepper’s has not filed a recent monthly report to the board on those occurrences.

‘It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Pepper’s on a monthly basis,’ Ms Scott said.

Mr. Samson had not returned calls for comment about Wednesday’s stabbing incident at press time.

Compass reporter Cliodhna Doherty contributed to this story.