NIGHTCLUB patrons held hostage by robbers

Sunday, June 3rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ About 35 people were held at gunpoint early Sunday during a robbery attempt at a nightclub, police said. No one was hurt and one of two suspects was arrested.

Two men armed with guns entered the popular The Five Spot nightclub about 2:45 a.m., announced a holdup and grabbed some cash from behind the bar, police said.

A SWAT team rushed to the scene after a woman ran into a restroom and called 911 from her cellular phone, police said.

One of the suspects spotted an officer peering in the club's window and herded about 20 customers and 15 employees to an upper floor.

Officers moved in and found one of the suspects on the second floor, where he was hiding in an elevator shaft, police Capt. Gerald Fretz said. The second man got away.

Police determined the building was clear about 3:45 a.m. and escorted the hostages outside.