The Boston nightclub where Jassy Correia celebrated her birthday took images of the IDs of everyone who entered and collaborated with nearby clubs in the Theater District to install surveillance cameras in the streets outside their venues. Both safety measures helped police identify Louis D. Coleman III as the suspect in Correia's kidnapping and death.
Greg Henning, a spokesman for several Boston area clubs, showed WGBH News a black machine that records an image of every patron's identification upon entry at Venu, where Correia celebrated her 23rd birthday on Feb. 23. The club shared an image of Coleman's ID with police.
“There’s also a consortium of clubs where Venu and Icon are that have privately-funded additional surveillance cameras outside,” Henning said, naming one club nearby, “so that police are able to get access and use it in the event that the police need to look into somebody who’s been outside or a crime that’s been committed.”
Henning said surveillance video from those cameras caught Correia on tape as she was leaving the club at closing time.
Before Boston Police Commissioner William Gross met with bar and club owners on March 12 to discuss city-wide safety measures to ensure club patrons' safety, Henning told WGBH News he is open to ideas for doing still more to enhance safety.
“It’s something that Boston Police works with Venu and Icon on regularly,” Henning said. “If there is some procedure that needs to be done to change it, whether it's training staff or a security device, people are open to it and certainly, we are as well.”
City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George, who has called for hearings to discuss nightclub safety, indicated she would like all clubs to adopt what Venu, Icon and some other clubs do.
“Everyone has a role to play to assure public safety, and I believe the city’s role is to help implement the proactive and preventative measures that support the work of our law enforcement. The Patron Safety hearing will review improvements to our shared communications technology," Essaibi-George said in a statement to WGBH News. "In the case of Jassy Correia, the nightclub provided a copy of Coleman’s license and that helped expedite the investigation. I would like to have that type of technology become standard practice throughout the nightlife industry. I also intend to review our bar safety requirements to make sure that bouncers have the proper training to effectively monitor the safety of their patrons.”
Carreia’s death came a little more than a month after 23-year-old Olivia Ambrose was kidnapped after leaving a Boston bar. Ambrose was found alive days later, due in part to police looking at surveillance video in their investigation. The back-to-back cases have raised concern for Boston-area residents who visit local nightclubs.
“Once they leave and they’re off [the clubs'] premises and stuff like that, that’s all you,” said Alisha Crump, a Dorchester resident. “But if it’s things that still happening around their area, [clubs] should be responsible for it.”
“The clubs have to probably reevaluate their safety procedures,” said Max Poscente, a Back Bay resident. “Then it’s also making sure that everybody is in communication with a friend group.”
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins has suggested some of what's needed goes beyond security measures.
“Let’s remind the men in our lives that violence against women, isn’t a woman’s issue,” Rollins said at a press conference after Coleman was charged. “It’s a problem that men take responsibility for in their lives and their sons' lives, and in the social lives with friends and colleagues.”