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Police: Armed Robbers Take Hostages Inside Linden Strip Club; Manager Pistol-Whipped

LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A hostage drama unfolded Thursday at a strip club in Linden. Police said four men with guns stormed the business and robbed it of thousands of dollars before escaping.

CBS 2's Pablo Guzman reported that eight dancers and customers were inside Taboo Men's Club when the incident happened. Police said four armed men entered the establishment and two others men may have acted as getaway drivers.

Authorities said the suspects used force as they led the victims into the basement before demanding money. The manager, Nick Durso, apparently got the worst of it.

"The manager was forced into the office area, where at gunpoint he was forced to turn over several thousand dollars from a safe, at which time he was also pistol-whipped," said James Sarnicki of the Linden Police Department.

The club DJ, Joe Panpalone, was also inside at the time of the incident and said he "almost fell over" in his chair when he had a gun pointed to his chest. He was able to escape and call 911 after one of the gunmen forced him downstairs.

"Guy came up to the DJ booth with a gun, told me follow him to the kitchen, everybody started panicking...[they] took all the girls hostage," Panpalone said.

Police and a SWAT team were called in to secure the building.

Authorities said they may release surveillance video of the incident at some point.

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