By Alex Hamlyn
Arts & Life Editor
A Ryerson student was among 150 bar patrons detained during a police raid at an after-hours club early Sunday morning.
The third-year economics student was at the Comfort Zone just after 6 a.m. when as many as 80 police officers stormed the club.
“I was at the DJ booth, and the next thing I saw, there was someone holding an M-16 [rifle],” said the student, who asked not to be named. “I was scared someone was going to start shooting the place up.”
Police arrested and charged 33 people. They also seized more than $30,000 worth of drugs plus $35,000 in cash.
“[There were] drugs scattered all over the place,” said Sgt. Ed Roseto, adding that police recovered heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, and GHB, a popular date-rape drug.
The student, however, said he was only drinking, adding that he went to the venue because his friend was the DJ.
“The cop jumped over the booth and pushed me down,” he said. The student said his friend was elbowed to the ground.
Cops placed both in plastic wrist restraints, and forced them to remain on the floor for nearly four hours. He says he still has cuts and bruises on his arms.
The club, at Spadina and College Street, is a hot spot for ravers and drugs, Toronto Police said. In 2002, it lost its liquor licence because of narcotics charges.
Project White Rabbit was set in motion six weeks ago following the death of Andrew Fazio, a 26 year old from Hamilton, Ont., who died of an overdose resulting from drugs linked to the Comfort Zone. The student said he was not a frequent patron.
“I only go a couple times a year because they have really good house music. Some people call it their church and party all day, but any stuff with drugs is definitely not related to [the employees].”
Roseto said several of those charged were club employees or security.
“When we went in tables were set up like a flea market. Drugs were clearly on display,” he said.
However, the student said the raid won’t stop him from returning to the club.
“I had to go through some bullshit, but whatever,” he said. “[Police] are going to raid that place time and time again.”
Despite the raid, the Facebook group for the club has posts from regular patrons stating that the club has deal with this kind of situation before and will most likely be open by this weekend.