Citrus nightclub in South Lake Union has been the scene of crimes over the past year, including a gang-related triple shooting, late-night melees, an officer-involved shooting of an assault suspect, and a bathroom peeping incident.
Seattle police and the City Attorney’s West Precinct Liaison have declared Citrus a “Chronic Public Nuisance,” hoping it might force the club’s owners to confront their ongoing problems with crime. Under a Chronic Nuisance Property agreement, the city can require business and property owners to take measures to reduce problems, including upgrading security systems. Failing to do so could result in fines up to $25,000 and possible revocation of their business license.
Police and the City Attorney’s office have met with the club’s managers to discuss ongoing crime, but problems have persisted.
Police say they have visited the club 55 times this year, responding to incidents including break up brawls, gunfire reports, hit and runs, DUIs, car prowls, robbery and other assaults.
Police also say they’ve had issues communicating with the club’s security staff. On Aug. 4, officers received reports of gunfire outside the club. Citrus staff told them the gunshots were just fireworks. Police later received a call from a man who said bullets struck his car as he drove past the club.
Staff at the nearby Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center says problems at Citrus have been an ongoing source of concern. They say they have found "discarded weapons and broken bottles left" on the center's campus, and say is becoming more difficult to provide a safe environment for their staff and patients.
"It is especially concerning that the nuisance and safety issues with [Citrus] have begun to spill into and impact our campus," states a recent letter from Fred Hutchinson executives to the city.
Police and the City say they hope to work with Citrus’ owners to resolve problems.
KING 5 has not yet reached Citrus for comment.
Anyone with concerns about Citrus is told to contact their local City Attorney’s Precinct Liaison or the SPD.