Hawaii's Scarlet nightclub accused of obstructing Honolulu liquor commission investigation

Thu. July 22, 2021 10:18 AM by Gerald Farinas

fort street mall and scarlet honolulu on the right

photo credit // daniel ramirez

Owner defends nightclub saying investigator assaulted two employees and business partner

Scarlet nightclub in Hawaii is accusing a City and County of Honolulu liquor commission investigator for assaulting two employees and one of its owners last Friday.

However, the city and county says the nightclub was obstructing an active investigation.

Scarlet Honolulu owner Robbie Baldwin, formerly of Chicago's Scarlet nightclub, claims the investigator pushed his way through an exit door.

Not knowing he was a city and county official, Baldwin continued, the investigator was stopped for his vaccination card, which is required of all patrons entering the Chinatown business.

The investigator, dressed in plain clothes, allegedly pushed the doorman and one of their security professionals aside.

Baldwin said the investigator did not identify himself as an official until his badge was noticed under his shirt.

Honolulu Police Department said they were called but understood that there was a Honolulu Liquor Commission investigation under way, yielding to the investigators to continue their business.

Other liquor commission investigators arrived after being called for backup. It was then that the commission issued a ticket to the establishment for obstruction of an official investigation.

Scarlet also received citations for non-registration of the employees acting as security, and for the conduct of security personnel against the investigators.

The Honolulu Liquor Commission issued a statement explaining that the official was in fact, on duty, investigating a matter on that stretch of historic Fort Street Mall.

They said, "By state law, every investigator, within the scope of the investigator's duties, has the powers of a police officer."

The Chicago and Honolulu Scarlet locales operate independently under separate ownership.