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Man stabbed during brawl at downtown club

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Charleston man was stabbed during a brawl at a downtown nightclub that has been the scene of violence in the past.

Officers were called to Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital just after 3 a.m. Sunday when a man arrived with a stab wound to his back.

Charleston Lt. Steve Cooper, chief of detectives, said West Side resident Sebastian Williams, 26, told detectives he was stabbed at Sky Lounge on Capitol Street.

"We interviewed the individual and he said there had been a brawl at the Sky Lounge and that it was total mayhem," Cooper said.

Williams told police he was trying to leave the bar but people inside were knocking each other over. He fell to the ground but noticed he was bleeding heavily from his back when he was helped to his feet.

"(He) wasn't exactly sure what happened, but was determined to be a pretty apparent stab wound," Cooper said.

The lieutenant said Williams wasn't involved in the actual fight. Police don't have a motive in the stabbing. Detectives do not have a clear suspect in the incident.

Cooper said a fight was reported in the area early Sunday morning but that officers did not know of any injuries until they were called to CAMC.

The fight began inside and spilled out onto Capitol Street, he said. The lieutenant said Sky Lounge had a history of violent crime and that he wasn't sure why the bar was more trouble than others.

 "We've had numerous issues in the past with the Sky Lounge," Cooper said. "We'll be keeping a very close eye on things again. Last summer we had several large fights, we've had shootings, shots fired, so it's been a spot that has been -- been a lot of mischief come from this particular bar."

The bar was shut down for a little more than a week last September after three men were shot in a fight over a woman.

Braheem Griffin was arrested days after the shooting while eating at Sistah's Rib Shack. Griffin allegedly shot William Wallace, 34, of South Charleston, and Shawn Williams, 23, and Darryl Denson, 44, both of Charleston. All of those involved survived.

Witnesses told police Griffin fired shots at the men as they exited the bar, striking Williams and Denson while they still were inside. Griffin later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison.

Cooper said Sebastian Williams' injuries were not life threatening. He said the stab wound was to the center of Williams' back and appeared to be a clean wound, indicating a blade had made it.

"We're going to be working with the (Alcohol Beverage Control Administration) this week to review the incident and to see if there were any violations by the Sky Lounge," Cooper said.

"We're going to be reviewing all circumstances involved in last night's incident and review past incidents there with the ABCC."

Anyone with information can contact Charleston detectives at 304-348-6480.

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at or 304-348-4850.


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