Chelsea bouncer 'rampage'
Police arrest suspect after 4 shot, 1 killed in club chaos
BY OREN YANIV, ROBERT F. MOORE and LEO STANDORA
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Police examine crime scene early this morning outside the nightclub Opus 22 on W. 22nd St. at 11th Ave. after four men were shot last night, one fatally, allegedly by a bouncer at club.
A bar bouncer enraged by a drunk patron pulled out a gun and shot four men - one fatally - outside a Chelsea nightspot last night, police said.
The suspect, Stephen Sakai, fled but was collared early this morning in Brooklyn, cops said. Witnesses told cops the violence erupted when an intoxicated man refused to leave Opus 22 on W. 22nd St. at 11th Ave. and began jawing at the burly bouncer.
"The guy had a few too many and he kept acting up and I guess the bouncer decided to resolve this by shooting him," one witness said. "He pulled a gun and got him point-blank in the chest," in front of the club, the witness said.
When the mortally wounded man fell to the pavement, one of his buddies confronted Sakai, yelling, "Why did you shoot my friend?"
another witness said. "The bouncer asked him, 'You want some, too?' and then shot him, too."
Cops said Sakai, of Brooklyn, also used his .45-caliber handgun to wound two other men - one in the neck, the other in the left shoulder.
The victims were taken to St. Vincent's and Bellevue hospitals last night for emergency surgery.
A 23-year-old at St. Vincent's was said to be in grave condition.
The conditions of the others, a 28-year-old at St. Vincent's and a 21-year-old at Bellevue, weren't immediately known. None of the victims' names was released.
Cops said that after firing, the bouncer pushed his way through a crowd of several dozen people on the street and ran away. Cops described Sakai as a few inches short of 6 feet, 240 pounds and sporting a goatee.
He was busted at Nostrand and Park Aves. in Brooklyn about four hours after the mayhem, cops said.
Cops and witnesses said all the victims were at a private open-mike party at the club and refused to leave to make way for another event at about 11 p.m.
After a lot of pushing, shoving and heated words, police said Sakai and other bouncers managed to herd the group outside.
Investigators said the drunk and his pals apparently wanted to reenter the club but refused to pay a $20 admission fee.
"They were still yelling at each other on the street," said one witness who had arrived for the second party. "It looked like the bouncer was having a bad day. He had a gun and he just went on a rampage."
"At first we thought it was a BB gun because he shot so close. But the first guy didn't get up and eventually you could see a pool of blood coming out," he said.
DJ Will, 30, was getting ready to work the second event when he heard the shots and screams from bystanders.
"I saw one dude on the ground and another down the block," he said. "They were saying, 'Yo, yo, I'm bleeding. Oh my God.' "
The dead man was slumped on the sidewalk in front of the club.
A small army of cops, heavily armed and in riot gear, descended on the club because at first it was thought the gunman was inside.
The bloodbath was bound to refocus attention on bar bouncers, already under scrutiny because of the Imette St. Guillen murder case.
The 24-year-old John Jay College grad student was killed in February, allegedly by Darryl Littlejohn, 41, the ex-con bouncer of The Falls bar in SoHo, where St. Guillen was last seen alive.