Go to church in Texas and you may end up with bullet holes in you. A high school student anywhere can easily be a goner. And had you gone for a beer at Cee Cee'S Lounge just a few weeks ago, you could have been shot up, too. A gun-toting patron opened fire on the no-frills South Shore joint on Sept. 4, wounding four people.
A bouncer named Solo said the armed customer wanted a female friend, who had a beverage in her hand, to accompany him outside. But when the woman was stopped from exiting with her glass, Solo said the patron, whom police later identified as Maurice Lanier, 27, of North Babylon, argued the lady's case. The woman paid for the drink and she could leave with it, he reportedly said. But the bouncers didn't budge.
Twenty-five minutes later, police say, Lanier returned with an itchy trigger finger. Pow! Pow! While popping a few shots off, cops charge, he put a few through the front window, too. So, was this another madman heading for front-page headlines or what?
"It was nothin' like that," says Solo, who along with a beefy co-worker routinely pats down male customers at the entrance for weapons. "It was basically a misunderstanding."
Misunderstanding? It isn't like bouncers often leave a lot of room for creative interpretation. Solo, who looked classier than the usual thick-necked lot in an off-white knit pullover on Saturday, has a deep voice that is quite firm. You might call him a commanding presence.
But even on this night, when the club was packed with a mature-looking crowd that was mostly in suits and hi-end corn-rowed styles, there was still bouncing to be done. One woman tried to walk out with a glass. Solo stopped her without incident.
He frisked the men on their way in and even warned one he would be frisked "front and back." Most of the guys didn't seem to take offense at the treatment. Some smiled pleasantly and chatted with Solo as they were processed.