KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville strip club labeled a “safe haven for criminal activity” by prosecutors has been ordered to close under the state’s public nuisance law.
The Ball Gentlemen’s Club and Jolly’s Sports Bar on the Alcoa Freeway were ordered to close this week under the state’s nuisance injunction law, ‘based on homicides, shootings, fights and other violent behavior,” according to a statement from the Knox County Attorney General’s Office. .
The injunction was approved by Knox County Judge Steve Sword after an investigation by District Attorney General Charme Allen’s Drug Enforcement Unit and investigators from the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Unit. Knoxville Police.
KPD has responded to more than 80 calls over the past few years, including citizens who called E-911 multiple times to report gunshots at the club. One of the incidents involved Randolph Thomas Garner who has been charged with second degree murder for the shooting death of Broderick Gipson last year.
The unrest led to communities speaking out against the strip club over concerns about noise and their safety, especially after the homicide situation.
“Owners, managers and employees were unwilling or unable to control criminal activity occurring on the property, leading to an environment that creates a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm to surrounding people and communities,” according to a statement from the district attorney. Desk.
“Prom is a threat to the community, particularly due to the violence that is occurring both inside and outside the company, and we will use all available resources and laws to combat the violence in our community,” Allen said.
Ball Gentlemen’s Club President John Nichols sent a statement: “Like many other establishments that provide entertainment to the public, we have not been immune to occasional unfortunate behavior.”
Nichols claims that “the complaints described in the order were not about the facility but were the result of those encroaching on their property and repeatedly being asked to leave the area.”
“We are consulting with our attorneys and plan to vigorously defend our right to practice law,” he added.
The owners are ordered to appear in court on June 9 to show why a permanent injunction should not be issued.
Ball’s nuisance injunction marks the 61st closing by the district attorney’s office and the KPD.
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