(NEW YORK) -- The Manhattan DA is probing charges the nightclub, "Twilo" has hired private ambulances to quietly whisk unconscious drug-overdose victims past cops and into local emergency rooms, The Post has learned.
Sources say club employees are playing Russian roulette with the lives of sometimes critically ill patrons in a cynical cat-and-mouse game to protect the embattled club's lucrative liquor license.
The investigation could deepen the legal and public-relations problems the club was hit with since employees there were caught on their own security cameras in October hiding unconscious revelers in closets so cops wouldn't find them.
"We've got young kids being left in deplorable conditions," said an administrator at one city hospital.
"It's mostly Ecstasy overdoses," the source said.
"Some of the kids have been hosed down at the club after passing out, and some of them have come in unclothed," the source said.
"We've had to treat [unconscious] kids for hypothermia because they were hosed down at the club and left there to cool down and come out of their stupors.
"It's really sick stuff," said the source.
Messages left with Twilo's two owners, Phil Smith and Steve Dash, and the club's lawyer, Peter Sullivan, were not immediately returned.
Investigators believe that 20 to 30 patrons have been transported to area hospitals after passing out from taking drugs since the October incident.
Medical and law-enforcement sources told The Post that when clubgoers overdose, club employees move the victims to a private area in hopes that they will "snap out of it."
"What appears to be happening is that they try and let them sleep it off," said a hospital source. "But it's until the point where the patient is so critical that they're desperately in need of medical attention."
Some of the victims were taken to St. Vincent's Hospital, sources said.
Hospital spokesman Mark Ackermann declined to comment.
Sources said that if no call is made to 911, police can't rush into the club on an emergency basis. And no 911 calls have been made from Twilo recently, they say, because of the private ambulance service.
Plus, sources note that with no 911 call, ambulance drivers are required to fill out some paperwork in city emergency rooms, but are dumping off bodies and leaving absolutely no information about where they came from.
Law-enforcement officials called Twilo's ambulance scam bold and unprecedented.
"This is the first time we've ever heard of something like this," one investigator said.
Early one Sunday morning in October, cops got 911 calls saying there were unconscious people inside Twilo, but when they arrived, bouncers tried to keep them out.
Police found three unconscious people in a closet, and later subpoenaed videotapes that showed employees dragging them across the floor or throwing them over their shoulders and putting them in a closet.
Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's office did not immediately return calls for comment.
D.A. probes nightclub :suspects Twilo sneaked OD'd patrons past police Larry Celona and Christopher Francescani December 3, 2000, Sunday Copyright 2000 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved. The New York Post December 3, 2000, Sunday Terms and Conditions
Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.