ENTERTAINMENT: Bug Jar breakdown

A rally was held at the Liberty Pole on Sunday to remember Deavoughn Hernandez-Ruffin, who was killed outside the Bug Jar last week. PHOTO BY LAUREN PETRACCA


The Bug Jar may have to change the way it operates as a result of a shooting death outside the club last week.

City Hall asked the owners of the iconic bar to temporarily close after Deavoughn Hernandez-Ruffin of Rochester was shot and killed following a fight inside the club.

Some people have focused on the fact that a “rap battle” concert was taking place at the time of the fight.

But Mayor Tom Richards says don’t blame the music.

“There are all kinds of music where people get riled up and do things they shouldn’t do,” he says. “We’re after the violence. We’re not after the hip hop.”

Richards says that before the Bug Jar can reopen, he wants a plan in place to prevent similar incidents. And the city might end up putting conditions on the Bug Jar’s entertainment license, he says. Those conditions can range from increasing security to reducing maximum occupancy, Richards says.

“It might entail not doing the kind of concert they did before because they can’t control it, or because they’re unwilling to put in the kind of investment to control it,” he says. “That’s a relatively small venue, and maybe this just isn’t the kind of thing for them to do there.”

“It’s a funky place and it attracts a funky crowd, but not a violent crowd,” Richards says. “There’s nothing wrong with being funky. There’s nothing wrong with being hip hop. It’s just, you can’t shoot each other.”

The Bug Jar will likely be assigned nuisance points as a result of this latest issue, says city spokesperson Gary Walker. But nuisance points rarely lead to a place being permanently shut down, he says.

The city was also required by law to report the incident to the State Liquor Authority, Richards says.



  1. Peking Humonculous · · Reply

    “It’s a funky place and it attracts a funky crowd…,” Richards says.

    Good gracious, did you really have to print that quote? Is this guy out of touch or what? Did he do a little dance move and snap his fingers while he was saying this?

  2. Perhaps if Tom Richards fixed the socioeconomic problems in the city that lead kids to turn to violence in the first place, we wouldn’t have this kind of problem. But it’s way easier for him to blame the victim of his failed policies.

  3. Sign this petition and revolt against the Rochester points system that killed this young man: http://www.change.org/petitions/repeal-the-points-system-that-killed-deavoughn-hernandez-ruffin

    I don’t think the incident outside the bug jar had anything to do with live entertainment or alcohol. The main cause of this incident is the points system in Rochester which causes businesses NOT TO CALL POLICE for fear that they will be shut down. So a minor fight inside the bar ends up causing a major fight outside the bar thereby causing one person to get a gun from their car and killing an innocent young man who was trying to be a peacemaker.
    1. In other cities where the points system does not exist a business will call the police at the first sign of trouble. The person is then arrested on minor charges and taken to jail. This provides a wakeup call to this person that their conduct is inappropriate and allows the business to better serve their law-abiding customers.

    In Rochester because of the points system the business will not call the police for fear they will be assigned points. The more points you have the more likely you are to be shut down. When a minor bar fight happens and noone gets arrested it lets everyone know that if you start a fight in a bar there are no consequences for your actions. In fact a bar becomes a perfect place to start a fight. If you severely injure your victim the police arn’t called and you get away without paying for your crime. If your victim ends up getting the upper hand bar security will break up the fight, potentially saving your life and you get kicked out of the bar without having the police arrive or you getting arrested.
    2. Under the points system the police are called to a business after a violent event and not during the event itself.

    In other cities if something criminal is happening you can call the police the moment it happens and feel safe knowing that help is on the way. They may even catch the criminal in the act of committing his crime or as that person is escaping the scene. In Rochester, because of the points system, the police are called after something horrible happens which means witnesses have disappeared, the victim is dead or dying, and the criminal has left the scene making it more difficult for the police to get justice for a family.

    The police say that most homicides are solved within 48hrs. After that time period it is very difficult for police to get the leads they need to identify the killer. The trail goes cold. The police didn’t get 48hrs to catch this boys killer. The crime started when the first disturbance happened in the bar. It continued when the fight broke out on stage and ended with a parking lot fight and a murder. How many hours elapsed between the initial disturbance (when the police should have been called) to the murder of this young man? An hour? Two hours? Hours lost because the bar risked being shut down if they called the police because of this points system.

  4. […] Campus like it’s Afghanistan. Then he called his deputy mayor a “big boy.” His discussion of the Bug Jar in City Newspaper takes the cake and started a brief Twitter meme: “There’s nothing wrong with being funky. […]

  5. Justine · · Reply

    Um… I don’t remember reading that it was the owner or affiliates of the Bug Jar who shot this person. Perhaps the blame belongs on the shoulders of the individual who made the conscious decision to take another life?? Absurd idea, huh.

  6. just fine · · Reply

    If any bar owner does not call the police when there is violence or a threat of violence because they are afraid of of the point system, then they do not have the ethics or responsibility to operate such an establishment. The bar owner’s first priority is to the safety of your patrons, regardless of the city’s policies.

  7. “There’s nothing wrong with being funky. There’s nothing wrong with being hip hop. It’s just, you can’t shoot each other.”

    Best quote ever.

  8. “Just fine”, I take it from your comment that you believe that the police act to stop violence. Their job is to arrive after a crime is committed and to find and arrest people believed to have committed said crime for prosecution. In any case, I don’t know at what point someone called the police, or if it was or was not someone employed by the Bug Jar — regardless, no matter when the police arrived, it is unlikely their presence would act to defuse a tense situation.

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