booze.jpgA club where a San Francisco medical student was fatally injured in a fight last weekend has agreed to impose tighter security restrictions on patrons, the city’s Entertainment Commission said at a meeting Tuesday.

Joe Hernandez was found early Sunday morning unconscious on the floor of Temple nightclub in the South of Market District, police said. Three other club-goers were injured in fights at the club, located at 540 Howard St., that night.

Hernandez had apparently been hit in the head with an object and was placed on life support following the incident, but police Officer Albie Esparza said Hernandez died Tuesday.

The case is being investigated as San Francisco’s fifth homicide of 2011, police said.
Another man, age 26, suffered minor injuries in the fight in which Hernandez was killed, police said.

About 20 minutes after the first fight, another broke out outside the club. Police said two men, ages 25 and 34, were stabbed with broken bottles by three Asian men, who then fled. The injuries were not deemed life threatening.

Jocelyn Kane, executive director of the Entertainment Commission, said the violence has spurred additional security measures, including doubling the number of security cameras and the installation of ID scanners.

“I want to reiterate that these conditions were agreed to and, I think, with exuberance,” Kane said in the meeting.

She added that the club would be banned from serving bottled beer on Friday and Saturday nights as well as required to administer pat downs of all patrons entering the venue.

“In fact, some of these conditions came from them,” Kane said. “The venue is working really well with the Entertainment Commission and the Police Department.”

Kane said that Temple had had adequate security the night of the violence and that, despite its large capacity of more than 700, the club had never posed a safety threat.

“The thinking of the owner was that the size of the club tends to create a feeling of anonymity for its patrons,” Kane said. A feeling that, she said, breeds crime.

Both the club’s owner and the commission hope that the increased security will “create a sense of heightened responsibility for patrons’ own behavior.”

The safety orders will go into effect Jan. 26, after which Temple will have 60 days to enact the new measures.

Kristen Peters, Bay City News

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