Cops slap Stango with riot charge

Nearly two months after an eviction-eve blowout at The Basement nightclub left the popular Broadway music venue and drinking spot in ruins, former proprietor Robert M. Stango has been arrested on felony charges, accused of inciting a crowd to destroy the place.

According to Kingston Police, Stango was arrested on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and charged with felony riot in the first degree and felony criminal mischief in the third degree. According to police, and investigation by the KPD Detective Division found that Stango both egged on the crowd which damaged the bar and engaged in hands-on acts of destruction.

Rob Stango's mugshot.

Stango, 28, was arraigned in Kingston City Court and released with an appearance ticket.


Stango’s arrest is the latest chapter in a saga that began back on Oct. 7 when the bar at 744 Broadway hosted one final show, featuring the metal band Immolation, the night before the venue was set to close for good following a rent dispute with landlord H. Lee Wind. Wind claimed that he decided to go forward with the eviction because Stango was $9,000 behind on the rent and was not carrying insurance for the business. Stango, meanwhile, accuses Wind of attempting to steal the business he built up over the past three years by rejecting an offer to pay the rent in full and ordering him out.

Early on Oct. 8, when Wind arrived with Sheriff’s Chief Civil Officer Don Ryan to carry out the eviction, he found the bar in ruins. Holes were kicked in the wall, mirrors and toilets and woodwork smashed. Wind claims that a heating system in the basement was demolished and an ice machine removed with the water left on, causing additional water damage. Wind claimed that the damage to the building exceeded $50,000 (a figure Stango called wildly exaggerated.

There are 5 comments

    1. Validator

      You said it John. “MORON” fits the bill. No one should ever rent space to him again unless it’s for the better of two bunks in a cell…

  1. Elissa Jane Mastel

    I think you guys are being awfully judgmental and hard on Stango… ok… I wasn’t there… but chances are neither were YOU … so… let’s look at the story… he took over a dive bar, fixed up the space and ran a dive bar with a scuzzy landlord who wanted to take the business for $9 Grand. It was a fun bar, a nice bar, and one of the very few music venues in Kingston. I don’t agree with trashing the place before surrendering it but 85% of the stuff the landlord is complaining about Stango installed… you think the landlord put in all that gear? No, he didn’t. So he’s pissed he didn’t get some free renovations to pass onto the next tenant, sucks, but then again it was a punk rock bar… how did you think it should have ended? There’s no better way for this story to end than a little misplaced anarchic chaos. Everyone who has this sudden disdain for Stango clearly has no compassion for what that kid tried to do and what he offered Kingston. It was a cool dive bar in a scuzzy part of Kingston’s Broadway that actually brought some LIFE to the area. Big deal, in a drunken stupor he trashed the place, he’s been arrested and he’ll ‘pay’ for it by doing time. To call him a “Moron” and to get all bent out of shape is absurd, come on… give the kid a break, he tried to do something cool for the community. I’m grateful that there was a music venue that played so many kinds of music and tried to do something different in this two horse, I mean two bar boring town.

  2. Derek Balling

    Why is this even a criminal matter? It seems that the destruction of a rental property by the legal tenant is a civil landlord-tenant damages matter, not a criminal one.

  3. GW

    As a person who went there a few times to see for myself what it was like and lives in the area, I feel it’s time others should know a little of what went on there before it closed. I spoke to Stango numerous times about people doing drugs outside behind the fence between the Basement and Eddie’s, plus the fact that many times sex acts were performed openly across the street along with various other illegal activities. He never, to my knowledge, tried to correct or even look into those things.

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