City Takes Action Against West Bowie Village
A court order initiated by the City of Bowie has halted scheduled activities as investigation continues on West Bowie Village Hall.
Judge Beverly J. Woodard's order forbids, "any commercial dance or other commercial event to which tickets are sold or admission charged to the general public" at the facility.
The order remains in force until a hearing is held no later than Oct. 25 on the issue of whether the injunction should be made permanent or dissolved.
The court action was initiated by the City of Bowie. The city alleges in its pleading that, "the magnitude of the potential harm is demonstrated by the death and personal injury caused by or arising, in action with or as a consequence of previous similar activities by the defendants."
A 26-year-old man was killed and a 26-year-old Washington D.C. man was critically wounded in the parking lot of the West Bowie Village Hall after an all-night party there which ended at 5 a.m. Kenneth Lamarr Prince, 26, of the 5800 block of Fountain Road in Oxon Hill was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The second victim, whom police declined to identify, remains hospitalized.
According to the State Department of Assessments and Taxation, the property is owned by Douglas C. Winger, president of Maryland Construction Inc. and Toby N. Byrd, a partner in Bowie law firm, Byrd and Byrd.
Nick Morfaw, the operator, was also named as a co-defendant in the action, according to City Manager David Deutsch.
The defendants did not contest the issuance of the preliminary injunction which was issued by consent of all of the parties.
The city believes the West Bowie Village Hall is in violation of its use and occupancy permit, said Deutsch in an e-mail.
Mayor G. Frederick Robinson said the city pursued legal action to put an immediate stop the public events at the club during the investigation and review of the zoning and permit issues related to the hall.
"Neighbors should have a sense of security that this practice that gave rise to the incident will stop. We are in the process of reviewing it to make sure it will never happen again," Robinson said.
Robinson said he wanted to thank the city council and city staff for moving so quickly on the matter.