Bouncer Pleads Not Guilty to More Charges

A bouncer accused of gunning down a man outside a trendy lounge was charged Friday with murdering one of the club's other security workers and two other men in separate incidents.

Authorities said Stephen Sakai, 30, made incriminating statements about the three 2005 killings in Brooklyn after he was arrested in the deadly gunfire outside Opus 22 in Manhattan in May.

He pleaded not guilty to three counts of second-degree murder, two days after pleading not guilty in the Manhattan case, and was ordered held without bail.

According to papers filed by Manhattan prosecutors, Sakai fatally shot Opus 22 bouncer Edwin Mojica, 41, in December in what Sakai described as a dispute over money.

Sakai was also accused of stabbing a 56-year-old man to death during a dispute in September and with the November slaying a strip club bouncer, 42-year-old Irving Matos, who was watching television in his basement apartment.

"I bet you think I killed Irv," Sakai told investigators, according to the papers. "Well I did. Just write the statement and I'll sign it."

In the Manhattan killing, Sakai was trying to clear the club of patrons when he began arguing with a man who insisted on waiting for his girlfriend to return from the bathroom. Court papers allege Sakai shot the man and then three others, including Gustavo Cuadros, 25, who died from his wounds.

Sakai came to both arraignments in a wheelchair for unexplained reasons.

The Sakai case, along with that of another bouncer accused of killing a graduate student from Boston, has prompted closer scrutiny of bouncers and their employers by lawmakers.

Darryl Littlejohn, 41, was charged in the February death of the student, Imette St. Guillen, 24, who was last seen alive at the Manhattan bar where he worked. He has pleaded not guilty.


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