Banditos’ co-owners, management and staff have issued a statement about a horrific triple-stabbing in their bar early Saturday morning.
The violence unfolded around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday at the club on S. Charles Street in Federal Hill. Police found four people had been stabbed after a fight erupted, and said the accused perpetrator, 17-year-old Shawn Guzman, accidentally cut himself while allegedly stabbing three others. All four were hospitalized, one with serious injuries.
Guzman, listed in court records as a resident of Brooklyn, Md., faces attempted murder, first-degree assault and reckless endangerment charges, among others. He’s currently being held in Central Booking and is due to appear in court on May 25.
Last night, Banditos took to Facebook to issue a statement two days after the violence.
“On behalf of all of us at Banditos, we would like to express our deepest sympathy to those injured and their families,” reads the message, which was signed by managing partners Andrew Dunlap and Sean White, management and the kitchen staff. “We are shocked and appalled by this senseless violence, which is in no way typical of the environment at Banditos or within the wonderful community of Federal Hill. In the five years since we opened, Banditos has never had an issue like this.”
Many around Baltimore, police included, have questioned how a teenager got into the bar in the first place. Banditos’ statement attempted to address these concerns, with owners write that they do not condone underage drinking. “That is not who we are and contradicts everything we stand for,” they wrote.
On a phone call, Baltimore City Liquor Board Deputy Executive Secretary Thomas Akras said the board and city police are “conducting an ongoing investigation in regards to the incident that took place this past weekend.”
The liquor board requested all police reports from the incident at Banditos, he said. Once its members have reviewed “the evidence and the facts of the allegations” in the reports, they’ll determine if there was any connection between the incident and Banditos’ operations. If so, they will “charge accordingly and bring the licensees before the board.”
Akras said Banditos had one previous liquor board violation in 2014 for operating during “prohibited hours.”
Banditos ownership and management are “doing everything in our power to fully cooperate with the authorities, and we are also conducting our own internal investigation,” their statement said. The bar plans to evaluate what it can do to beef up security to prevent similar incidents from happening.
Writing on behalf of the rest of the Banditos staff, Dunlap and White said they value the community relationships they’ve forged during their eight years of operating in Federal Hill and 12 altogether in Baltimore.
“We live, work and are active in our city and we are proud to call Baltimore home. Again, you have our personal commitment that we, along with our engaged team, will do everything possible to learn from this horrible incident and ensure Banditos is the positive environment we all expect.”
Federal Hill hasn’t been spared from a spike in violent crime across Baltimore over the last year. Two months earlier, 33 year-old William Lee Lesane was fatally shot in the chest three blocks away on W. Hamburg Street. (Police arrested his alleged killer, 28-year-old Andrew Nurse, in Connecticut in April.)
And last November, two bystanders were shot on Cross Street following a dispute nearby. Both men were treated for non-life threatening injuries at area hospitals.