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Cops bust illegal night club, close building

on September 16, 2011

After responding to a series of boisterous parties characterized by out-of-town, late-night revelers, police shut down an illegal underground club in the Iron Triangle known as the “Bee Hive.”

The illegal parties and discovery of both fire and municipal code violations prompted the Richmond Code Enforcement Unit to board up the windows and “red tag” the building. A crimson sign posted on the front door states that the area is unsafe, and anyone entering the building without police or fire escort is subject to arrest.

Partiers leaving after the police bust on August 28. (Photo courtesy of the Richmond Police Department.)

Richmond Police Department Detective Nicole Abetkov said individuals from around the Bay Area — many of them underage — flocked to the illegal night club located across from the Nevin Center.

“The Iron Triangle is one of the most violent areas in the city,” she said. “A guy was just shot at the corner of 5th [outside the Nevin Center] in broad daylight while kids were playing basketball in the park nearby.”

Officers first responded to a public noise complaint on August 28. Abetkov said music was audible from over a block away and police saw more than 20 people outside dressed in swim suits, mini skirts and tube tops.

“We realized that it was a foam party, also known as an underground rave,” Abetkov said.

Foam parties are characterized by machines that envelop dance floors in bubbles.

Police found more than 200 celebrants crowded inside the house, which has a maximum capacity of around 20 people. There were no safe exits, the front door was locked and an armed security guard was caught in the process of padlocking the back gate. Richmond Fire Dept. had to be contacted to force entrances open.

The host, a local named Bryan Jackson, tried to leave the premises by car, but was stopped and

Foam party attendees flee from the police presence. (Photo courtesy of the Richmond Police Department.)

questioned by authorities. Officers discovered that party attendees were charged $15 at the door.

As of press time, no contact information for Jackson could be obtained and he has not been formally charged with any crime.

Since the initial bust, police have received a number of calls complaining that Jackson was setting up for another party.

Promotional flyers for the Bee Hive note that the “brand new club” hosts hip hop/R&B nights on Saturdays and open mic nights on Fridays. A Facebook page created for “The Bee Hive” calls the location a local business and said there was an 18+ party scheduled for 8 p.m. at the “BeeHive UltraLounge” Wednesday night.

Neither the building owner nor Jackson had the proper permits to hold club events, Abetkov said. However, on September 6, Jackson did apply for a church permit, calling his operation the “Nu Faith Fellowship.”

“The fact that he was applying for a church permit should be upsetting to the faith-based community,” Abetkov said. “It’s a community concern and it should be a community concern.”

But now that Code Enforcement officially red tagged the building, it seems unlikely that anyone will attend parties at 512 MacDonald in the near future — among the code violations were serious electrical problems and raw sewage in the bathroom.

Because many of the attendees of the August 28 event appeared to be youth from nearby cities, Abetkov said she hopes parents will be more mindful of the parties their teens attend.

“We have young people coming into an area they are not familiar with that happens to be one of the highest crime areas in the city,” she said. “And the fact that they are walking around late at night dressed in clothing that is very revealing makes them subject to a huge array of crimes.”


  1. Joe Ehrlich on September 16, 2011 at 10:37 am

    ““The fact that he was applying for a church permit should be upsetting to the faith-based community,” Abetkov said.”

    Frankly, the fact that a Police Detective is stating that Richmond is a “faith-based” community is a lot more upsetting.

    • grace on September 18, 2011 at 8:41 pm

      I think she was saying that they don’t realize that they are in an area of the city with one of the highest crime rate because they aren’t from around here.

  2. Denzel Dowell on September 16, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Is it just me or did Nicole Abetkov claim that a bunch of dancing ravers are responsible for the high crime rate in the Iron Triangle?

  3. Richmond Warrior on September 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    these kids were all Thrust fund Babies from the Suburbs who came to Richmond for a Cheap Thrill . sad but the guy running it is a Money hungry moron with no care for Safety .

  4. TSuggs on September 18, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I think the first two commenters need to read the article again.

    They are both misinterpeting the comments by the RPD officer.

    • Denzel Dowell on September 19, 2011 at 10:25 am

      No, I don’t believe I am. I fail to see how a bunch of suburban ravers are causing the high crime stats in the Iron Triangle.

      Now if you want to complain about noise, go ahead, that’s a more legitimate point of contention.

      What this boils down to is someone running unauthorized raves, which raises hackles down at City Hall because the city government wasn’t given a cut of the proceeds.

      • Vin Sparrow on September 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm

        Oh sure, lets hold parties for under-age teen- agers where 1) The wiring is faulty 2) theres raw sewage in the bathrooms and 3) More than hell likely alcohol and drugs abundantly avaiulable. BUT, City hall is upset because they aren’t getting their cut..

        • Denzel Dowell on September 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm

          That’s right. Nobody paid for the proper permits and licensing and that’s going to raise hackles downtown. As for the raw sewage and “serious electrical violations” (whatever that means to an angry inspector) I haven’t been there so I can’t say.

  5. mylesstandish on September 20, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Short memory for everyone huh? Here is a story from 2003. Someone is going to get really hurt or die because the city will not shut this slumlord down.

    Oct. 24–RICHMOND, Calif.–Inderjit Bal, owner of a single-room-occupancy hotel at 514 Macdonald Ave., has until 5 p.m. Monday to correct 40 code violations documented by inspectors during a September tour, an appeals board affirmed Thursday in denying Bal’s request for an extension.

    “We were not given adequate time to prepare,” Bal told the board, which includes representatives of the planning, fire and engineering departments.

    • Robert Rogers on September 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      Thank you for reading, responding, and providing tips and perspective. We are committed to bringing you news about your community.

      robert rogers

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