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Police give list of businesses with violence problems to City Council

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Thanksgiving night, a man was shot and killed at the Chalet Bar on Race Street; another was seriously hurt.

There were three crimes scene as a result.

“Right now, we believe Chalet, hopefully isolated,” Cincinnati Assistant Police Chief Paul Neudigate said.

It caused the Law and Public Safety Committee of Cincinnati City Council to take notice. On Tuesday, police listed several bars in the downtown and Over-the-Rhine areas that they say have problems with violent crime.

Officers say OTR Live, Treehouse and COPA Lounge all have the same liquor license holder and have had problems.

Neudigate told council, “Feb. 10, 2019, victim states he was drugged while drinking at OTR Live at 1133 Sycamore and robbed of approximately $4,000. Feb. 15, 2019, we had a sexual assault report where the victim was at Treehouse Bar. April 7, 2019, Cincinnati Police officers working the detail at this complex were assaulted,” Neudigate listed more offenses that he said took place over a 14-month period.

A manager at Treehouse says the owner has been reaching out to police since the summer of 2019, wanting to work out some of the problems, but he says he never heard back. The manager also says because Treehouse has a large footprint and is a landmark, often people report that an incident happened there when it did not.

Council members said they don't want to see another incident like what happened with the Cameo Night Club shooting in 2017 when two men died and 15 others were shot.

Police are concerned about people's safety in and outside of the bars.

“There is kind of a misnomer that you’re only responsible for what occurs inside the bar, and as a good permit holder, you have to be concerned about what happens around your establishment when it lets out at night,” Neudigate said.

Police are drafting letters to several bars.

Neudigate said, “We want to work with the permit premise holder to resolve all this, but I think you heard from what the chairman said and that is it absolutely cannot continue.”

If crime gets extreme at bars, the city can contest their liquor license renewal. Members of council are hoping the meetings stop the problems so that doesn’t happen.

The manager at Treehouse says he and the owner are looking forward to meeting with police and working out the issues.

Local 12 will be checking with the city about those letters going out and the results of the meeting between the owners and police.


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