Police temporarily stopped the night’s proceedings at Urge early in the morning of Feb 19, looking for a man with a gun, according to Dave Dickinson, a sergeant with Toronto police’s 51 Division.
Police received a call claiming that someone at Urge, a Church St sex club, was carrying a handgun in their sweater. They responded around midnight, Dickinson says, and searched the premises. Police did not find a gun, and no one was arrested. People were allowed to continue their night’s activities after police left.
A commenter on the cruising site squirt.org posted a more vivid account: “All the lights came on. There were at least eight cops. Everyone was told to stand against the north wall, palms flat and legs spread — lot of yelling and they had rifles drawn — felt like I was in a L&O episode,” it reads. “Cops did a search of entire place, flipped stools, chairs and fire escapes, patted down a few guys that fit description, and explained what was going on and apologized for inconvenience.”
Urge owner Dave Cook says that, while the incident was scary, police conducted themselves in a professional manner throughout. “I’m always looking out for homophobic remarks, but I didn’t hear anything like that,” he says.
As for the police tip that started it all, he chalks it up to sour grapes. “From what I can see, it looked like someone not handling a rejection very well and calling in a complaint to the police on his way out,” says Cook. He hopes police can track the call and pursue the man for mischief.
After the incident, a handful of patrons left immediately. They were offered free passes to return on another night, says Cook.