Three people were stabbed in two separate incidents outside a Towson hookah lounge Saturday night, Baltimore County police said Monday.
Police learned of the stabbing while responding to a fight at Burke Avenue and York Road around 2 a.m., when one of the people involved said their friend had been stabbed earlier outside the Towson Nights Hookah Lounge Cafe. Police said the victim took himself to a hospital for treatment of non life-threatening injuries.
The department said two other men — both 22 years old — were stabbed during a separate incident, just after 3:30 a.m. The victims were leaving the same hookah lounge when they were confronted by suspects, "who instigated a verbal argument that escalated to a stabbing," police said. Both were taken to local hospitals; one suffered non life-threatening injuries and the other remained hospitalized with serious injuries.
Police said no arrests have been made in either case and no suspect description is available. The two incidents are unrelated, they said. Police said it is unclear whether the suspects had been in the lounge.
Attempts to reach the hookah lounge owner by phone Monday were unsuccessful.
The county recently adopted legislation requiring hookah lounges to close at midnight to reduce the nuisance and criminal complaints that officials say is associated with the businesses. Prior to the legislation, some remained open as late as 4 a.m., police said.
The new law took effect Sunday but existing businesses have 45 days to comply with the new regulation.
"The unfortunate incident in Towson outside of a hookah lounge this weekend once again shows why the recent legislation limiting hours at hookah and vapor lounges that I introduced and that was passed by the County Council is so important," said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in a statement.
Police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said in an email that the department did not cite the lounge. "In the first incident, we know that the victims had been in the lounge but investigators don't believe the stabbing was precipitated by a dispute inside the lounge. In the second incident, we know that the victims had been in the lounge, but we do not know that the suspects had been there."
The county's violent crimes unit is investigating the second incident, while Towson precinct detectives are investigating the earlier incident.