Karma thug threatens to kill reporter

Karma was recently shut down after Councilman Jimmy Vacca alerted the 49th Precinct that it was operating with an expired Public Assessment Permit. - Photo by Adam Bermudez

Community worry received yet another solidified justification on Friday, July 11, when an unidentified man threatened a News 12 reporter at the Karma nightclub in Morris Park.

According to a police source, the reporter arrived at the club at approximately 4 p.m. to begin interviewing for a segment on the establishment when the man lifted his shirt to reveal a gun.

The report stated that the guy told the female reporter, “If I see this story on the air, I’ll blow your head off.”

While the reporter filed a complaint with the 49th Precinct at 5:15 p.m. that evening, the man had already left the scene in a white Toyota Camry.

“I never expected what I heard Friday night,” Councilman Jimmy Vacca said about the number of phone calls that came pouring into his office seeking help with the situation.

The event came just six days after officers from the 49th Precinct closed Karma, 1907 White Plains Road, for an expired Public Assembly Permit.

“It’s serious stuff,” Senator Jeff Klein said. “It goes well beyond the pale of a noisy bar.”

While the club’s owner, Marcia Bridgett, initially told Community Board 11 she’d create a classy restaurant, her claims were quickly exposed as lies when she opened in November.

Upon hearing endless community complaints of excessive noise and offensive behavior, Klein made a point to get involved.

Approximately two months ago he requested a State Liquor Authority investigation, which was recently released, citing Karma with 11 violations.

Among those listed were “engaging in and/or suffering or permitting the storage, possession, use and trafficking of marijuana” and “suffering or permitting an altercation and/or shooting to occur on the licensed premises.”

Though the club has once again been temporarily shut down, long-time neighborhood resident Donna Chiodi said, “We don’t need a band aid on this, we need to close this wound and put it to rest.”

Community activist Roger Bombace agreed. “I have no problem with these places, but they belong in non-residential areas,” he said. “It’s really good that we have the local elected officials and community board working on it.”

Proud of how the area has responsibly handled the situation thus far, Chiodi commented, “Everyone pulled together and everyone fought for this common goal.”

And while they had yet another disturbance over the weekend, Klein said, “One thing we have to be ever vigilant on is preserving the quality of life of our community.” He added, “And I thank the community because they are our eyes and our ears.”

While the 49th Precinct continues to keep close tabs on Karma, Klein’s recent conversations with the State Liquor Authority commissioner Noreen Healy are a promising step in the right direction.

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