Crime

Blake Street Crime Falling After Bloody Summer, Beta Nightclub Public Nuisance Claim

A look down Blake Street.
A look down Blake Street. Google Maps
Violent crime exploded in downtown Denver over the summer, with much of it in the 1900 block of Blake Street near Beta, a nightclub the city is trying to shut down based in part on reports from off-duty cops turned whistleblowers. But although the rate of shootings and stabbings remains high in many parts of the city, as witnessed by incidents this past weekend that killed one teen and injured two others, the situation on Blake Street has changed for the better.

Much better.

From October 1 through October 24, the most recent date available, the Denver Police Department lists no violent crimes (defined as murder, robbery and aggravated assault) on that block of Blake. And the number of such offenses in the Union Station neighborhood — which covers much of the Ballpark neighborhood, the area behind Union Station and LoDo, where Beta is located — is significantly lower than earlier this year.

The Denver Crime Map maintained by the DPD lists two homicides and 22 aggravated assaults between the 1400 and 2400 blocks of Blake Street from January 1 to August 8. Of those 24 offenses, ten took place on the 1900 block, with four specifically tied to 1909 Blake, where Beta is located. Nineteen offenses on that ten-block stretch of Blake took place between August 1 and August 29; twelve happened on the 1900 block of Blake Street, and four are pinpointed to Beta's address.


DPD representatives promised to devote more resources to downtown in an attempt to eliminate such crimes, and it appears to be helping. From September 1 to 24, the Denver Crime Map lists eleven violent crimes in the Union Station neighborhood, but only two on Blake Street. During the same period in October, there were twelve violent crimes, and none on Blake.

Beta remains open, with a determination on whether it should be designated a public nuisance postponed. A hearing on its liquor license was supposed to take place on October 18, but it was delayed owing to an administrative error; Eric Escudero, spokesperson for the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, says a new date has not been finalized. In the meantime, Escudero confirms that "there are no other current pending complaints or investigations under way for separate allegations that were not included in the administrative Show Cause order" filed against Beta on August 30.

Here's a list of the twelve violent crimes in the Union Station neighborhood from October 1 to 24, in chronological order:

10:08 p.m. October 7
1500 Block of 19th Street
Aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury


1:55 a.m. October 9
20th Street/Market Street
Aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury

1:58 a.m. October 9
1800 block of Market Street
Aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury

12:00 a.m. October 10
20th Street/Larimer Street
Robbery of a person in the open

5:24 p.m. October 10
1700 block of Wewatta Street
Robbery of a person in the open

6 p.m. October 12
1750 Wewatta Street
Robbery of a person in the open

10 p.m. October 15
20th Street/Larimer Street
Robbery of a person in the open

2:10 p.m. October 18
1770 Chestnut Place
Robbery: Carjacking — armed

11:30 a.m. October 20
1800 block of Wazee Street
Robbery of a person in the open

6:36 p.m. October 22
1650 Wewatta Street
Aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury

10:40 p.m. October 22
Little Raven Street/Bassett Street
Aggravated assault: Threatening to imminently injure with a weapon

9:48 a.m. October 24
1901 Wazee Street
Aggravated assault: Threatening to imminently injure with a weapon
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts