The West Haven Police Department arrested New Haven resident Dwayne Watkins Thursday in connection with a Nov. 27 stabbing at Gin Dee’s Café, a West Haven restaurant, bar and strip club.
The WHPD said in a statement released Thursday that Watkins was charged with second-degree assault and breach of peace. Watkins, 44, lives in the Prospect Hill neighborhood of New Haven, roughly four blocks away from the Yale Divinity School. Police did not identify the victim of the November stabbing, nor did they provide further details regarding the arrest.
Second-degree assault is considered a Class D felony in Connecticut, and the charge typically carries a one- to five-year prison sentence and up to $5,000 in fines. WHPD spokesman Sgt. David Tammaro could not be reached for comment as of press time.
A resident of the Watkins household declined to comment.
A Gin Dee’s employee spoke on Sunday under the condition of anonymity due to concern for her job security. She said most Gin Dee’s employees were unaware of the November stabbing, and she herself did not know about the crime until she read about it in various local media outlets over the weekend. She added that news about such incidents usually passes through the venue “like wildfire.” Gin Dee’s owner could not be reached for comment Monday.
While Gin Dee’s employees said they are not aware of any more recent stabbings at the establishment, WHPD also responded to a Jan. 16 stabbing at Peroles Las Fusion Bar, a West Haven bar roughly three miles away from Gin Dee’s. The male victim of this stabbing sustained significant visible facial injuries and was taken to the emergency room at Yale-New Haven Hospital that night. Police are still investigating the stabbing at Peroles Las Fusion Bar and have not yet made an arrest.
Despite the stabbing incidents, residents say they do not feel unsafe in the neighborhood.
New Haven resident Quince Campbell said he frequently visits a friend who lives across the street from the club. He added that he has never felt wary in the area or encountered any problems that could have escalated to violence.
There were 37 reported aggressive assaults in New Haven last January, according to data from the New Haven Police Department.