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|Subject: Bouncer Fatally Stabbed in Brawl Over Smoking Ban|
New York City
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Date Posted: April 13, 2003 8:45:12 EDT
A bouncer at a Manhattan nightclub died Sunday after he was stabbed in a brawl that police said began when he tried to enforce the city's new ban on smoking in bars and restaurants.
Dana Blake, 32, died about 11 hours after the late-night fight in an East Village nightclub.
Police arrested two brothers, Johnathan and Ching Chan, shortly after the fight and charged them with assault. Prosecutors had not decided Sunday whether to upgrade the charges because of Blake's death.
Blake approached the men about 2:30 a.m. to tell them they could not smoke in the bar, police spokesman Michael O'Looney said. It was unclear whether one or both men were smoking, he said.
Harsh words were exchanged and the brawl began when Blake tried to eject Johnathan Chan for disorderly behavior, witnesses told police. Blake was stabbed in the fight, but it was unclear who stabbed him or with what, O'Looney said.
The smoking ban took effect late last month.
It could not immediately be determined if the brothers had lawyers.
Blake's older brother, Tony Blake, said Sunday he blamed the death on the smoking ban. "I'm very bitter," he said. "It's a senseless murder because of this stupid cigarette law. That's the reason this guy was killed."
Ed Skyler, spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said the mayor was pleased suspects were quickly arrested and that "his thoughts are with the family of the victim."
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