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Rick’s strip club raid results in 15 arrests

Seattle- Three paddy wagons were brought in and police supplied full jumpsuits to cover the scantily clad dancers Wednesday night in one of the largest raids yet conducted by police on Rick’s strip club on Lake City Way Northeast.

Police arrested 14 dancers and one manager for what a police spokesman said were violations of the city’s adult entertainment ordinance.

Police spokesman Sean Whitcomb said the arrests were made as the result of an undercover operation at the controversial nightclub, which was the focus of the Strippergate scandal involving some members of the City Council in previous years.

Word of the arrests came via a call from a taxi driver who had been called to pick up a fare at the club, only to find it closed about 9:45 p.m., with customers told to leave and dancers being lined up for questioning.

On Nov. 7, Seattle voters defeated Referendum 1, which would have imposed even stricter rules for strip clubs. A similar raid was conducted by police at the club only two weeks before the fall election. That raid resulted in the arrest of five dancers.

The club, 11332 Lake City Way N.E , which normally is open until 2 a.m., was filled by Seattle Police late into the night as the dancers were led out into the paddy wagons to be booked into the King County Jail.

According to one customer who was in the club at the time, police showed up in force and ordered the lights turned on then asked the patrons to leave. Between 16 and 20 officers were on the scene.

One dancer who wasn’t arrested complained outside: “Well, now I’m not going to make any money tonight.”

One officer who allegedly said it was his first raid at a strip club actually was getting his photo taken with some of the women, said a dancer named Miracle, who showed some of the photos she had taken of the raid using a camera phone. She said police were also take photos of each of the dancers and checking them for their city dancing license and to see if they had any outstanding warrants.

She said police did not appear to be searching lockers, only checking individual dancers.

“This is absurd,” Miracle said outside the club, waiting and hoping it might reopen before the night ended. “I just came on when this happened and haven’t made a dime.”
 

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