What to Know
- The Hoboken police chief confirmed Thursday the city has launched a criminal investigation against a popular bar
- The probe comes after videos showing lewd acts allegedly taking place inside The Hub over the weekend
- Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante says the bar will remain open pending a liquor license hearing; The bar could lose its license, receive fines
The Hoboken police chief confirmed Thursday the city has launched a criminal investigation against a popular bar for sex-related crimes that allegedly occurred last weekend, saying he would have never imagined such "disgraceful acts" could occur anywhere, much less in his city.
The HUB Hoboken on Hudson Place is one of the city's hottest venues and is under fire after the police department was made aware of social media activity allegedly showing videos from incidents that occurred inside the bar from late Saturday to early Sunday.
NBC 4 reported Wednesday that authorities were investigating an incident that allegedly took place last Saturday during which women were allegedly groped and purportedly penetrated with bottles.
Graphic photos circulating on social media clearly show a partially nude woman sitting on a bar, her legs spread, with at least one man touching her. The party in question was heavily attended; promoters posted photos on Instagram of lines around the block to get into the club.
“I saw videos of activity that I never could imagine would occur anywhere, especially in a business open to the public with a liquor license approved by the City of Hoboken and State of New Jersey. To state that this conduct will not be tolerated by the Hoboken Police Department is a major understatement,” Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante said.
An employee of Erock Entertainment Group, which promoted the party, told News 4 they believed the man and woman depicted in the photos were a couple who may have been trying to film themselves.
Ferrante says that based on the preliminary investigation the promoter hired by The HUB that night is known as “#theslutwhisperer,” who has millions of viewers on social media.
The Hoboken Police Alcohol Beverage Control Unit Investigators (ABC Unit), along with Hoboken police detectives, reviewed the videos and comments from social media that “depict extremely graphic lewd acts,” Ferrante said, adding that The Hub currently remains open until the ABC hearing which is scheduled for next week. However, police and the ABC Unit will have a strong presence in the vicinity while they await the liquor license hearing.
The bar could face revocation of their license and severe penalties, the police chief said.
“For any individual who saw the disgraceful acts, and are thinking of coming to a bar in Hoboken to repeat this activity towards women, be assured that you will be arrested if you violate the law,” Ferrante said.