Philadelphia police have increased patrols and security after two popular gay bars in the city’s Gayborhood were threatened with gun violence.
According to CBS Philly, the threat came from a recent online post that suggested a possible shooting at popular gay bar Woody’s and late-night club Voyeur.
More information about the incident was shared through Woody’s and Voyeur’s social media accounts. Due to a joint effort to inform patrons, the separate businesses released similar public statements. Both statements shared that the “hollow threat” came from a former customer.
Then yesterday, both clubs released a second statement with more details about the man who had threatened gun violence.
That statement shares that an ex-boyfriend of the suspect was the one to inform police of the threat. The police then contacted the two clubs.
After a thorough investigation, the clubs and the police decided that the threat wasn't credible. Sadly, the rumor mill had already spread to social media, but has now been quieted down. Both businesses are now open and running as usual.
You can read the full statement below:
"FACTS: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS
On Monday evening, November 12th, 2018, the management of Woody’s were notified by Philadelphia Police that an individual walked into the Philadelphia Central Detectives Unit to report a threat made by his ex-boyfriend.
The ex-boyfriend was a customer at Woody’s and Voyeur that was banned from both establishments for rude, disruptive, and inappropriate behavior. During the exchange, the 22 year old male threatened to “Shoot the place up”. Woody’s closed immediately to ensure the safety of customers and staff.
On Tuesday morning, November 13th, 2018, The management of Woody’s was working with Philadelphia Police and Homeland Security. It was determined through a preliminary investigation that the individual in question was not in possession of firearms, had no family in the area, an out of state license, and was not an immediate threat to the community. Based on this information Woody’s and Voyeur were advised to remain open and conduct business as usual, with one exception, the 13th Street Corridor was under police surveillance and patrolled by undercover officers as an All Points Bulletin was issued for the ex-boyfriend.
On Friday morning, November 16th, 2018, the individual in question, arrived at the Philadelphia Central Detectives Unit with his lawyer to face questioning. It was then the threat was deemed non-creditable.
By Friday afternoon, the man who made the threat was returning back to Colorado and the all clear was given. In the interim, a family member of someone involved in the investigation, posted information regarding the threat and this case. We requested the information be removed to prevent the possibility of copycats but the rumor mill spread quickly throughout social media. There were comments made that members of the right wing rally held today (Saturday) in Center City was responsible for the threat. This is false and at this time, there is no immediate threats to Woody’s or Voyeur.
We want to thank all of our staff and customers for the support and want to ensure everyone that our top priority is to the community and creating a safe space for LGBTQ and allies to gather. We continue to go above and beyond by hiring close to 50 security guards on the weekend and are the only gay bar that hires a Philadelphia Police detail every weekend."
This incident comes just a week after two Boston gay bars were similarly threatened with gun violence. Though in that situation, the threat was shared through anonymous phone calls.