Board of Licenses allows Providence club to reopen after violence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence club ordered closed last week following a night of violence has been allowed the reopen.

According to the Providence Board of Licenses, Aqua Lounge was allowed to reopen Monday after a licensing hearing.

The board voted to close the club for 72 hours on Friday – following an incident where police say a man fired shots at officers early the same morning.

An emergency meeting was held Friday afternoon. Providence Police Maj. David Lapatin said that while the lounge was not deemed at fault for the violence, the board was asked to close the facility for “public safety.”

“We do believe that we need this place to be closed until we can come to some sort of conclusion about where the actions of the individual lie, and whether there was any fault with the club,” Maj. Lapatin told Eyewitness News last week.

Several cars were involved in the long police pursuit.
Several cars were involved in the long police pursuit.

According to officials, police broke up a fight outside of the club just after midnight Friday morning.

One of the men involved in the fight, 24-year-old Larenta Draper, of Pawtucket, then fired shots at police outside of the club – before leading officers on a car chase down Route 10, where he crashed his car.

Witnesses said more than 20 police cars were involved in the pursuit.

After crashing, police said Draper ran and tried to jump a fence before being detained by officers.

He is now facing a slew of charges, including using a firearm while committing a crime of violence, possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a crime of violence, reckless driving and eluding police, among others.

The three counts against the club have been dismissed.

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