The victims were rushed to the emergency room, and police are still searching for the suspect who fled Black Whiskey after the bleach attack.

According to The Washington Blade, D.C.'s LGBT news source, two patrons of the bar Black Whiskey were doused with bleach while standing on the sidewalk outside the 14th Street establishment on Wednesday, June 21, at 12:40 a.m. The police report originally stated that the two men were patrons of the bar, Trade, a small gay bar occupying the ground floor of the 14th street building. The entrances to Trade and Black Whiskey are adjacent to one another, as Black Whiskey occupies the second floor of the building. [caption id="attachment_2724" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Black Whiskey The entrances to Trade and Black Whiskey. The door on the left is the entrance to Black Whiskey, which is located on the second floor. Photo by Mark Nakamoto.[/caption] The two men were transported to Howard University Hospital for the chemical burns sustained in the bleach attack. Someone, for whom the police are still searching, poured the contents of a gallon of bleach from the roof of the building before tossing the bottle itself below. The victims were standing on a portion of the sidewalk where patrons of both Trade and Black Whiskey go to smoke.
Complainant 1, Complainant 2, and Witness 1 report that after getting in a verbal dispute with two subjects in front of the Black Whiskey and Trade nightclubs, Suspect 1 threw a bottle of bleach out of a second floor window of the Black Whiskey,” the police report says.
“The bleach covered Complainant 1 and Complainant 2 and got into their eyes,” the report continues. “Suspect 1 then fled this scene, exiting the Black Whiskey from a rear door ... D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Ambulance No. 9 responded to the scene.” The Washington Blade cites a patron of Trade, Zach Link, who witnessed the incident: "He heard a crashing sound and saw that a large plastic jug of bleach with no cap on it had landed on the sidewalk beside the two victims, splashing bleach on their bodies and faces."

The police consider the incident an assault with a dangerous weapon. The police report identifies the two male victims as residents of Fort Leonard Wood, a U.S. Army facility in Missouri, but did not specify if the men are active duty members of the Army or another military branch.

The Washington Blade also corresponded with police spokeswoman, Margarita Mikhaylova, who said, "At this time we don’t have an indication this is a hate/bias crime ... This case is actively being investigated and should circumstances arise that indicate hate/bias, it will be investigated as such."

Black Whiskey opened at the 14th Street location in 2013. They released the following public statement on their Facebook page: 

The ownership and management of Black Whiskey is greatly concerned about the incident that occurred early this morning in front our establishment and the subsequent social media post related to the event. First, we hope the injured persons are doing well physically and emotionally. Second, please know that we have been cooperating with the authorities and working closely with our good neighbors at Trade to determine who perpetrated this act. Video tape reveals that an individual patron at Black Whiskey, with no affiliation to Black Whiskey exited the rear of the building, stole a bottle of bleach from our cleaning supplies and climbed to the top of our roof. From there it appears he emptied the contents of the bottle and then threw the bottle to the sidewalk. His intended target appears to have been a group of Black Whiskey patrons with whom he had an altercation with inside the bar and who exited the front of the building just moments before the incident.

Our staff was not aware of the incident until after it occurred and fully cooperated with police on the scene. We have since shared video surveillance to assist the police investigation. We pray the facts prove this to be a dispute between two groups at a bar and nothing more sinister for the sake of our community. Sincerely, Black Whiskey Team"
If you have any information on the incident, you can anonymously contact D.C. Metro police at the Anonymous Tip Line at (202) 727-9099 or the Crime Solvers Tip Line at (800) 673-2777. What are your thoughts on the incident? A hate crime? A drunken dispute gone wrong? Let us know in the comments below!

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