Deputies Tell Victims of Strip-Club Shooting to Drive Themselves to the Hospital

Deputies of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office told two women wounded June 30 in a strip-club shooting to drive themselves to the hospital, according to a police report obtained by the Pulp.

So 40-year-old Janie Scott of Boynton Beach and  23-year-old daughter Alisha Johnson sped through Riviera Beach and blew red lights on their way to St. Marys Medical Center. About 4 a.m., they were stopped by Riviera Beach police.

Johnson immediately told the cops: "Officer, my mom was shot in the back," according to the incident report. Scott was described as bleeding from several holes in her back and

"unable to communicate." And Johnson had cuts on her arm.

The officers did something not so unusual: They requested an ambulance!

In the end, doctors figured out Scott wasn't struck by bullets as she first thought but by shards of glass flying as Goldfinger nightclub was shot up during a June 30 rap concert. They were treated at the hospital and released.

"I thought it was a little strange when a deputy tells you to take yourself to the hospital," said Scott. "But we just did it. We were pretty scared, though."

The traffic stop, however, had Riviera cops wonder about the professionalism of their sheriff's colleagues -- this at a time when some residents clamor for a takeover of the police department by PBSO.

"It's standard procedure to alert fire rescue, especially when the victim is hit in the back," said a Riviera Beach PD official who worked the night of the shooting and asked not to be named.
"You're not even allowed to move someone with a back injury until paramedics are at the scene.

"When I asked the PBSO guys what they were thinking, they told me the ladies weren't injured badly enough and they were really busy. What if they killed somebody on their way to the hospital?"

PBSO's second in command, Chief Deputy Sheriff Mike Gauger, said his troops knew Scott and Johnson weren't key witnesses and determined their injuries weren't life-threatening.

"I'm told the ladies weren't very cooperative at the scene," Gauger said. "They refused treatment and fire rescue transport. The deputies determined it'd be safe for them to go on their own."

Gauger added that two men were also hurt in the shooting, one in the calf and the other in the ankle. One took himself to the hospital while the other was taken by ambulance. "We can't force people to seek treatment," Gauger said.

Former Miami Dolphins first-round draft pick John Bosa opened the nightclub in 2007 alongside I-95 in unincorporated Riviera Beach. It was originally called Solid Gold. A man was shot and killed there by a security guard who returned fire during an argument in the parking lot in August. And in 2009, a woman stabbed her husband near the front door four months before another shooting injured two men. After last week's shooting, owner Leonard Del Percio has closed his club, reportedly for good.

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Jose Lambiet
Contact: Jose Lambiet