11/13/11 — N.C. ABC Board pulls alcohol license from Teasers

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N.C. ABC Board pulls alcohol license from Teasers

By Gary Popp
Published in News on November 13, 2011 1:50 AM

Faced with an increasing number of violent incidents and requests from Goldsboro police for action, the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission on Thursday stripped Teasers of Goldsboro of its permit to sell alcohol.

The Goldsboro Police Department and state's Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement worked in conjunction to petition the ABC Commission to issue a "Last Call" summary suspension for the club, located at 1724 U.S. 117 S.

City police officials said they were motivated by a recent increase in violent acts, such as shootings, stabbings and drug and alcohol violations at the club.

"My biggest concern is public safety," said Goldsboro Police Chief Jeff Stewart. "Reports regularly come in, and I am concerned about that."

In a letter to the ABC Commission, Stewart requested the agency immediately revoke the establishment's ABC permit due to the many recent violent episodes that have occurred on or about the property.

"I am extremely concerned for the safety of the patrons that frequent this establishment and the safety of my officers that respond to calls for service," Stewart wrote in the letter.

Stewart also noted in the letter that Teasers has been a problem establishment for the city of Goldsboro for many years, concluding that while not all of the club's patrons are bad, that it would be in the best interest of the public to revoke the club's ABC permit.

During the petition process, Goldsboro police officers and an ALE agent drafted affidavits that provide detailed accounts of violent and illegal activity that they claim has escalated at Teasers in the past year.

ALE Special Agent J. Locklear explained that when a business receives a summary suspension, there often is an immediate decrease in the amount of violence and controlled substance violations.

When Teasers' permits could be re-issued remains uncertain, he said.

"At this point it looks like he (owner Jack Thomas) will be without a permit at least through sometime in December," Locklear said.

The suspension will remain in effect until the case is heard by the Office of Administrative Hearings, either in Goldsboro or Raleigh.

He also explained that the Office of Administration Hearings will only make a recommendation to the ABC Commission, which has the ultimate authority to lift the suspension.

The lawmen cited several examples in affadavits to justify the business having its alcohol permit revoked, including:

*May 25 -- A patron was shot in the leg and a second patron was hit in the head with a glass bottle while inside the establishment.

*July 16 -- Two female patrons were assaulted by five female patrons while at the establishment. The two victims received lacerations to their faces from a razor blade. An person was arrested for felony assault. The charges are currently pending.

*Sept. 25 -- Officers responded to Teasers to find 75 to 100 people in the parking area following a dispute. Four patrons of Teasers were taken Wayne Memorial Hospital to receive treatment for multiple stab wounds. One of the female victims suffered a deep laceration starting below her right eye and extending to her chin, for which she received 16 stitches. She also received a laceration from the base of her neck to her lower back above her waist that required 20 staples.

Hours earlier, an ALE had charged three club patrons found in the parking lot area with alcohol in the passenger area of a vehicle, possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine.

*Oct. 8 -- In the club's parking lot area, ALE agents issued citations to four female patrons for underage drinking. When the agents entered the club to discuss the problems in the parking lot with the manager, the agent reported immediately being overcome by the strong odor of marijuana. When the manager was contacted, he claimed that he was unaware patrons were using marijuana inside the premises. The agent also reports finding cigar "guts" dumped on the floor throughout the club, which indicates patrons splitting open cigars, removing the tobacco and replacing it with marijuana to make blunts.

*Oct. 22 -- Approximately 13 Goldsboro police arrived at Teasers in response to a fight. In the subsequent investigation, authorities found rolled marijuana joints throughout the establishment. The club's manager was warned by an ALE agent that if drastic changes were not made, someone would be seriously injured or killed on the premises.

*Nov. 6 -- A man was shot and five others were assaulted as they exited Teasers. Three of the victims were struck in the face with a handgun. A patron's vehicle was also struck by gunfire during the incident.