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City shuts down 2 clubs

Primetime, Platinum lounges ordered closed after more violence incidents

City shuts down 2 clubs

City shuts down 2 clubs

Capt. Tom Woodrum of the Statesboro P...

Law enforcement officers padlocked and chain-locked two Statesboro nightclubs Wednesday evening, just a few days after both were the scenes of violence.

Bulloch County Superior Court Judge John R. Turner signed a temporary restraining order requested by the city of Statesboro earlier Wednesday ordering both the Platinum Lounge, at 2 Proctor St., and the Primetime Lounge, at 608 Northside Drive E., to cease operations, Statesboro City Attorney J. Alvin Leaphart said Wednesday evening.

Shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, shots were fired at the Platinum Lounge, but no one was injured and "no victim came forward," said Statesboro police Advanced Patrol Officer Justin Samples, the public information officer for the department.

About 90 minutes later, at 2:30 a.m., shots were fired at the Primetime Lounge. Johnnie L. Benton, 25, of Rincon, was killed, and Jamal Heard, 21, also of Rincon, was seriously injured, Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said.

On Aug. 19, 2012, a shooting at the Platinum Lounge killed Akeila Rochell Martin, 32, of Statesboro, and wounded another woman. Police continue to investigate both homicides, and no arrests have been made.

Shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday, Leaphart, Statesboro police Maj. Scott Brunson, Bulloch County sheriff's Chief Deputy Jared Akins and other law enforcement officers were outside the Platinum Lounge as officers placed chains and padlocks on the two front doors and a side door. Officers also drilled into the side door to replace that lock.

Brunson said they were headed over to Primetime Lounge next to do the same thing. He added that the owners of the Platinum Lounge and Primetime Lounge had both been served with the injunctions ordering their businesses be closed.

"The judge found sufficient evidence to grant a temporary restraining order against the operation" of the nightclubs, Leaphart said, citing the "cumulative" number of incidents that have happened at both establishments in recent years.

Leaphart added that a hearing is scheduled for Dec. 10 before Turner "to continue the injunction" against the operation of the clubs.

Brunson said the police department typically stations officers around areas where there are large gatherings. Both nightclubs have drawn large crowds on weekend nights, especially late Saturday and early Sunday.

Brunson added that this is the first time in recent memory the city has shuttered a nightclub.

Akins said the last one that was shut down in the county was Da Pond in the Clito area. Several undercover purchases of alcohol at Da Pond, which was not licensed to serve alcohol, led to Georgia State Patrol troopers and agents from the Georgia Department of Revenue Alcohol and Tobacco Division in January 2011.

Jason Wermers may be reached at (912) 489-9431.


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