Call for closure of nightclub
BY MICHAEL WHITE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Calling death-by-bouncer "an epidemic in this city," family members and lawyers for a Queens teen killed allegedly at the hands of an Astoria nightclub goon called for justice yesterday.
Antonios Fasarakis, 19, died June 8 after a dust-up with a so-called fire evacuation agent - who was really serving as a bouncer - at Soma, a lounge on 49th St. and 25th Ave.
"We want to try to close this place down so this doesn't happen to anyone else," said Fasarakis' sister, Christina, sitting with her parents, brother and other family members.
"We would not want any other person to feel the loss that we're feeling right now. I just wish my brother was here," she said, before burying her tear-soaked face in her hands.
The family is preparing to sue the city, nightclub and the company that provided the bouncer. The family's lawyer said the teen would still be alive if the company that provided the club worker, Francisco Solivan, 24, had done a background check.
Authorities told the Daily News that Solivan, who faces a third-degree assault charge for the early morning incident, had two prior assault convictions.
State laws bar convicted felons from working in bars and clubs.
Queens prosecutors knocked down initial manslaughter charges in the case. They said the teen had returned to the club with a metal pipe after being kicked out, and that there was no evidence of intent to kill on the bouncer's part.
But the family's attorney, Rosemarie Arnold, of Fort Lee, N.J., maintains that the bouncer instigated the scuffle and used excessive force on the drunken, 120-pound teenager.
A law enforcement source, citing the medical examiner's report, said the teen died when his neck snapped back.
Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), who organized the press event, said the club had been ticketed three times for underage drinking, and called for its closure.
"This was an institution that should not have been opened, given their history with underage drinking incidents," he said.
Gianaris also announced that he will introduce legislation to regulate companies that provide bouncers, ensuring they undergo minimum levels of training and background checks.
"We need to bring some sanity to the way bouncers are hired and operate in this city," Gianaris said. "They're operating as if it's the Wild West. How many tragedies are going to be enough?"
Fasarakis' death was the third cops have linked to bouncers since Imette St. Guillen was found dead in February, allegedly killed by a club bouncer in Manhattan.
Originally published on June 30, 2006