'M Nightclub' fined thousands of dollars by Honolulu Liquor Commission

Updated: May. 25, 2017 at 11:53 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former Honolulu nightclub is being fined for numerous violations that came to light after a violent clash between bouncers and customers last year.

The "M Nightclub" suddenly shut its doors late last year. But the criminal case and civil suit against the club is far from over.

On January 31, 2016, five young men say they were beaten by bouncers at the club. The incident was caught on camera. It spurred both criminal and liquor commission investigations.

On Thursday, former part-owner, Jason Yokoyama, pleaded no contest to five liquor commission violations, some of which include failure to prevent or suppress violence and having unpermitted employees.

"As a result of the January 31, 2016 incident, we found that some of the bouncers including some bartenders were not registered," said Monica Choi, a lawyer with the city's corporation counsel.

"Sir, do you have an explanation for this charge?" asked one liquor commissioner.

"I actually was advised by counsel to not speak because of pending litigation," Yokoyama responded.

The liquor commission approved the maximum fine for four of the five violations, which totaled $8,250.

"Those are serious fines. When the commission goes to the maximum $2,000 fines, that's serious," said Liquor Commission administrator Don Pacarro.

David K. Pedro was the only person arrested for assault that night. It's still unclear if he was an employee of the nightclub.

The alleged victims' attorney Michael Green says Yokoyama's no contest plea has no effect on their civil case.

"Pleading no contest is just a way of getting out of admitting you did it because you're not admitting nor denying. You're not even basically taking responsibility. All you're saying is I don't want contest the charges," said Green.

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