Owner fighting to reopen nightclub called nuisance by city - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Owner fighting to reopen nightclub called nuisance by city

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Roslyn Anderson - bio | email

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – The owner of Chuckie's Lounge in Jackson is fighting to reopen his night spot which has been the site of numerous violent incidents.

The City of Jackson calls it a nuisance and wants it shut down permanently.

A hearing to determine the future of the club was held Tuesday in Hinds County Chancery Court.

Charlie Thomas testified that the closure of Chuckie's Lounge, has left him without a source of income after spending thousands of dollars to bring it up to code.

The club proprietor said he made 30 improvements mandated by the city.

In June, Jackson Police said a 26 year old man died after being stabbed in the neck with a broken beer bottle while inside the establishment.

Thomas said violence escalated when the Wood Street gang tried to take over his club this summer.

The club owner said he hired professional security and turned to police and his council representative for help but received none.

"We've been trying to satisfy the City of Jackson which is impossible, because they will not agree to anything. We've tried to hold out an olive branch to them, but they're determined they're going to keep him closed as long as the judge will allow them to," said defense attorney Percy Stanfield.

But according to the city's legal team, the club has a long history of violence and allowed patrons to smoke marijuana.

Alcohol Beverage Control enforcement agent Frederick Johnson testified that Thomas, who only had a license to sell beer, was cited and fined for illegally selling alcohol.

J.P.D. Deputy Chief Brent Winstead testified that there were more than 110 calls for service to the Ridgeway Street club and surrounding area in just over a year's time.

City attorneys said the club is the site of numerous homicides and is a danger to the public.

"There was one on June 5th, 2010 that is in the pleadings and there's also aggravated assaults, strong armed robbery, several shootings of patrons of this club, as well as the employees of this club. It is just simply not a safe environment," said Deputy City Attorney Lara Gill.

The night spot closed in August.

Both sides rested in the case.

Judge Dwayne Thomas will determine in about 30 days whether the business license will be renewed.

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