Residents celebrate club's closure

Troubled party center shut down following recent shooting
Andy Ouriel
May 28, 2014

ouriel@sanduskyregister.com

A rare scene broke out in City Hall on Tuesday.

Except for one noticeable man, all 30 or so community members and Sandusky officials in attendance cheered police personnel for clinching a long-awaited victory against arguably the area’s most problematic and now-shuttered hangout.

Watch video of the meeting in the player below

Tuesday marked the first public meeting after city officials forced the closure of Geno’s Party Center, formerly DJ’s Sports Bar next to Shell on Cleveland Road. The closure occurred a little more than a week ago.

Declaring this establishment a constant threat to public safety, officials mandated the property owner lock out the building’s tenant.

The eviction notice came one day after seven people were shot and one man was severely beaten.

But as sounds of people clapping reverberated throughout the commission chambers, South Larchmont Drive resident Michael Green remained quiet up until he stood up and sternly addressed officials.

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Green questioned all seven city commissioners about why this problematic spot didn’t close sooner, considering Sandusky police responded to about 150 prior incidents at this location since 2010. The incidents range from shots fired to vicious beatings and underage drinkers running amok.

“The people and the community of Sandusky deserve better than this,” Green said. “It shouldn’t have taken the amount of time that it took to close this establishment down. People have worked all of their lives and lived in that neighborhood and have nothing to do with that establishment, (but their) lives were put at risk because this establishment was not closed down. How is that acceptable? I cannot sit back and applaud for a job that should have been done four years ago.”

Even though he bashed their operations, some commissioners agreed with Green’s comments.

“Mr. Green, you are right,” Sandusky ex officio mayor Dennis Murray Jr. said. “This community deserves better.”

Roughly three hours after the shootings, commissioner Dick Brady revealed he prompted an attorney to accelerate the closure of Geno’s.

“If I have been remiss in not making that call sooner, I apologize to you for that, and I apologize to this community for that,” Brady said. “That will not happen again under my watch. I will continue to be proactive, and I promise to you and promise to the community that we will not sit on our hands. We will do everything we can to support our police department. If we shirked that in the past, we will not have that happen in the future."

Green also asked why this establishment stayed open, even after dozens of complaints came in about this property.

Quite simply, the establishment didn’t have a liquor license, hamstringing police officers from more aggressively enforcing security there in the past, Sandusky police Chief John Orzech said.

Orzech, meanwhile, shot back at Green, defending his department and calling upon others to help shut down other troublesome places like Geno’s in the future.

“I have 44 (full-time officers) that I am responsible for, and I have had to send them out there 150-some times and 20-some times this year to face bullets," Orzech said. "It’s not something I take lightly. There are people that live in that area that I know. To insinuate that I don’t care or the police department doesn’t care about the community is senseless. It’s the community that needs to step up and say, ‘We are not going to take it anymore.’” We had done everything we could to possibly shut that place down.”

As of Wednesday, police have yet to charge anyone in this case.

Comments

YoMamma

Well said cooncat!

Darkhorse

When there are seven people shot, the place becomes a liability for the owner. When each drinking establishment shuts down, the same people seek out other bars to go to and the cycle starts up again. There will be more shootings this summer and it will only get worse because the bars don't want to take the responsibility for how much alcohol the customer is consuming. The city has a chance to enact an ordinance to lay down law if the bars will not take on the responsibility.

Nemesis

The only thing a bar owner can effectively do is shift the problem to another bar, or some other venue.

The problem is the prevalence of ghetto thug culture within the city's population. There are far too many people in Sandusky who see this behavior as normal and acceptable, and far too many people who, in the name of being good multicultural progressives, refuse to condemn and fight the spread of the culture that fosters that attitude.

Ctwhalers

When I was a DJ there we had cedar point people stop in and do karaoke or just for the food.

Truth or Dare

Nemesis; You are so way off base, let alone purposely misleading with your comment regarding Rebuild Sandusky, and that they think all our problems stem from tourists. By the way, been in the service industry for 40 yrs., and yes, they do stop within this city. They don't all head home. The majority may, but not all. According to 2013 attendance records, we had an additional 17.7 thousand visitors per day from May 1 - Oct. 31 to just C.P., which doesn't include those that actually came here to do something else! I mean after all, we're a tourist destination, right?!

This topic of DJ's closing, as it should have been and is about time, has absolutely nothing to do with seeking an increase in the Admissions Tax! Which my friend would be quit beneficial for street repairs, addressing the problem of over 300 dead trees throughout this city that now they want to possibly hold property owners responsible for and 3 FIRE HOUSES OPEN 24/7/365, not to mention funds to help with police. You know, for things such as $$$'s to purchase bullet proof vests! By the way folks, it isn't nor was it ever Chief's Orzach's job to close this place down. It was theirs to answer any calls that came in and answer they did!!! Their family wants them home at the end of their shift too! The buck stops at the TOP and it's a damn good thing no one was killed!

Nemesis

"Nemesis; You are so way off base, let alone purposely misleading with your comment regarding Rebuild Sandusky, and that they think all our problems stem from tourists."

Go read your supporters' comments in prior threads. Go talk to Babo and Comrade Boose. Rebuild Sandusky's support base believes that residents are subsidizing tourists and that the taxes from CP (at least 25% of city revenues) do not cover the incremental burden they place on city coffers. Since the biggest expense are safety forces payroll, which go largely to dealing with the consequences of people doing stupid stuff, the clear implication is that tourists are the ones doing the stupid stuff that costs the city money.
Rebuild Sandusky's entire cause is about putting the screws to the tourists to cover the costs of the residents' collective dysfunction. That can only be considered fair or just if the dysfunction is the tourists' fault.

"By the way, been in the service industry for 40 yrs., and yes, they do stop within this city. They don't all head home. "

And by doing so, they generate even MORE revenue and boost their contribution to city coffers well above that 25% figure.

"This topic of DJ's closing, as it should have been and is about time, has absolutely nothing to do with seeking an increase in the Admissions Tax!"

It has EVERYTHING to do with it. The problem is NOT tourists, and the solution is NOT bleeding the tourists. The topic of DJ's is a huge glaring piece of evidence that the city's problem is NOT what Rebuild Sandusky claims, and the solution is NOT what Rebuild Sandusky proposes.

"Which my friend would be quit beneficial for street repairs, addressing the problem of over 300 dead trees throughout this city that now they want to possibly hold property owners responsible for and 3 FIRE HOUSES OPEN 24/7/365, not to mention funds to help with police."

But which, in reality, would go to moving city hall and handouts to the denizens of places like DJ's.

"You know, for things such as $$$'s to purchase bullet proof vests!"

Which won't do a bit of good if the bleeding hearts at the courthouse keep putting the thugs back into Sandusky's neighborhoods. You can't protect cops OR citizens if you keep ignoring the real problem.

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