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.
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.