Stephen Sakai, the former bouncer accused of enforcing a gunfire-based door policy at currently for-sale Opus 22 in Chelsea, may have a slight history of accelerating others' mortality. The New York Times reports forthcoming indictments against Sakai for three previous murders in Brooklyn, revolving around Sakai's bouncing at Opus 22 and Sweet Cherry, a waterfront strip dive in Sunset Park. The now-closed Sweet Cherry is described as "a dark place that maddened neighbors, prosecutors and city officials for years." Of the three Brooklyn victims, one was a bouncer-runner at Sweet Cherry, another a customer of the same club, and the third was another bouncer at Opus 22. Various bizarre statements from Sakai about the Brooklyn deaths (now disavowed) include his admitting to shooting the bouncer-runner "in the cheek or the leg or maybe someplace else." For more spacey criminal confusion, see Sakai's account after the jump of what happened at Opus 22, when he allegedly opened fire into a crowd outside the club, killing one and wounding three.
In a written statement to the police filed in court yesterday, Mr. Sakai said he was clearing out a party when a patron refused to leave.The takeaway: If you're refusing to leave a club party, and the bouncer is thinking about things he wants to do, those things may include shooting you and all your friends. And: Guns are cheap!
"I heard a shot and felt pressure in the back of my head and my head went forward," Mr. Sakai said in the statement. "My body felt like a tingle from the back of my head all the way down to my legs. I felt like control of my body was not mine. I felt that a bullet was in the back of my head. I started to think about my life, things that I've done, things that I wanted to do."
Mr. Sakai, who was not shot, said he was carrying a gun purchased for $13 and change from a "drug abuser in my neighborhood."
"I had the gun in my waistband," he wrote. "I don't remember taking the gun out of my waistband, although I heard a group of gunshots and voices sounded like they were under water. I don't remember shooting anyone, and I don't remember putting the gun back in my waistband. Everything looked black and white and twisted."