Patrons waiting to get into trendy SoHo hotspots, W.i.P. and Greenhouse Saturday night, got a rude awakening, when the NYPD showed up and shut them down for code violations. They can thank the Drake/Chris Brown melee of last Thursday for putting the kibosh on whatever party plans they may have had then -- and for the foreseeable future.
PIX11 reporter and retired NYPD Detective Mike Sheehan got exclusive video of what happened. He was on the scene and had just filed a report for the 10 p.m. newscast when members of the NYPD's Civil Enforcement Unit arrived, telling partiers waiting outside on Vandam and Varick streets to hit the road. Friday, police busted Jonathan Cantor -- the manager of Greenhouse, which houses W.i.P., -- on two outstanding warrants, unrelated to the brawl between the Drake and Brown factions, which was reportedly sparked by their romantic entanglements with singer, Rihanna; Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting her in 2009, when they were dating.
Rihanna has remained above the fray; she's not talking or texting, for that matter -- at least, not yet.
According to eyewitnesses, here's how things went down: the basement-level club, W.i.P. was packed to the rafters with celebrities attending a birthday party for the manager of R&B star Ne-Yo. The guest list included Mary J. Blige and Brown's friend, San Antonio Spurs Guard Tony Parker, ex-husband of Desperate Housewives star, Eva Longoria.
No one really knows what sparked the ensuing violence. One witness says things got out of hand when Brown sent a bottle of champagne to Drake, who dissed him by returning it -- unopened. Ice cubes were hurled at Brown, and that's when both entourages began throwing bottles at each other.
Publicists for Brown and Drake insist their clients have done nothing wrong. Drake's representative says his client left the club when the violence started. But the version police got from the Brown side was that he was leaving W.i.P, when several men stripped off their shirts and got in the faces of Brown's group asking, "What is your problem with Drake?"
Meanwhile, people have began to lawyer up. According to a report from ABC News, Brown's bodyguard wound up in the hospital with a "massive cut to his head." He's already filed a criminal complaint. And TMZ.com says a woman hit by a bottle during the free-for-all has also filed a complaint.
Parker says he suffered a scratched retina and admitted himself to the hospital in Paris, where he'll be training for the Summer Olympics.
"I was with my friend Chris Brown and me and my friends took some punches, so I'll be missing the start of the French team because I can't do anything for a week except keep the lens in and then take drops," Parker told the Associated Press.
"They started throwing bottles everywhere. I don't know what happened. At first [my eye] was OK, but then it started getting worse and when the plane landed it was really hurting so I went straight to the ER," he said.
Additional Reporting By Mike SheehanCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun