Shadow Hangs Over Brooklyn Nightclub After Fatal Incidents

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October 1, 2023

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(NEW YORK) —Following the deaths of two, 27-year-old men and a mysterious kidnapping, patrons of the Brooklyn Mirage nightclub have seen slight improvements in security but no official updates from the concert space or district. 

Avant Gardner, the music venue home to the Brooklyn Mirage, is under scrutiny. This comes after the bodies of psychologist Karl Clement and Goldman Sachs analyst John Castic were discovered in Newtown Creek, just weeks apart, following their visits to the venue. 

It’s been over a month since Avant Gardner’s press statement expressing cooperation with authorities and a commitment to patron safety, but patrons have observed security improvements since the incidents. Avant Gardner did not respond to requests for comment on problems associated with the club.

“There is definitely a greater police presence outside the venue with the NYPD directing traffic and venue security walking around the entrance to make sure people aren’t stashing drugs,” said 27-year-old concertgoer, Joshua Moran. 

But despite improvements the venue has made, he is doubtful the club will change. “There’s been multiple times when I’ve seen people insanely intoxicated – people go to the Mirage to do drugs.” 

The community echoes Moran’s concerns. Residents and ticket holders initiated a letter campaign urging Councilwoman Jennifer Gutiérez, who represents the district where Avant Gardner is located, to address the safety and security issues surrounding the venue following the incidents. While Gutiérez has expressed condolences for the two fatalities and emphasized the need for heightened safety measures in Williamsburg’s industrial areas, there are no recent public updates on the matter.

Since Avant Gardner’s opening in 2017, the venue has consistently been under the city’s watchful eye. The State Liquor Authority has issued more than 23 disciplinary charges against the event space in the three years since it opened. Aside from the most recent victims, three people have died of drug overdoses at Avant Gardner venues, and at least 1,600 have been treated for intoxication, Gothamist reports. 

The NYPD continues to investigate the deaths of Clement and Castic. Councilwoman Gutiérez did not respond to requests for comment.

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