October 5, 2011 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Man found unconscious at gay nightclub; dies in hospital

D.C. police issued a statement Wednesday saying they were investigating the death of a patron of the Southwest D.C. gay nightclub Ziegfeld’s/Secrets, who was found unconscious at the club “in the early morning hours of Oct. 2.”

Police late Wednesday identified the patron as 43-year-old Patrick Coats of Richmond, Va.

Capt. Edward Delgado, director of the police Special Liaison Division, which oversees the department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, said Coats was taken to a hospital where he died a short time later.

“The death is being invested by the MPD’s Homicide Branch and the cause of death is undetermined,” the police statement says.

Police officials have said the Homicide Branch investigates all deaths in cases where the cause has not been determined. In many cases, those deaths are later found to be due to natural causes or accidental injuries, police have said.

A statement released by Ziegfeld’s/Secrets general manager Jon Parks says an employee found the patron later identified as Coats outside the club’s first floor bathroom and the club immediately called 911 for help. The statement, which was provided to the Blade by another club employee, says the staff and management are cooperating with the police investigation.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

1 Comment
  • Is an autopsy going to be performed? When will we know the cause?

    What is the status of the Gopalan homicide case? Are there any solid leads in that case?

    How many LGBT-related homicide and assault cases were reported in the last 12 months. How many were closed?

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