Masury club closed as nuisance property

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An adult entertainment club in Masury was boarded up Tuesday as a nuisance property because of illegal alcohol sales and numerous police calls to the business, according to the Brookfield Township Police Department.

Club Vixen, 1248 Standard Ave., was closed by an order from Trumbull County Common Pleas Court after a nuisance complaint was filed by the police department, the Ohio Investigative Unit of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office. It formerly was known as Club Pearl, Club Pink and The Playground, according to a court affidavit.

The operators of the club, Andrew Ziccardi of Pittsburgh, Leslie Dilley of Sharon and Shawn Ater of Pittsburgh, were cited with 17 counts of illegal alcohol sales and running a liquor establishment without a permit, according to a statement by the Brookfield Police Department. The owner of the property, Tammy Schmitt of Sharon, is listed on the affidavit, but she is not being criminally charged, according to Brookfield Police Chief Dan Faustino.

The affidavit states that Club Vixen, Club Pearl, Club Pink and The Playground “all conducted substantially similar operations and substantially interfered with public decency, sobriety, peace and good order.” It also states the club, which formerly operated as VFW Post 8860, sold beer and liquor to patrons despite the property not having a liquor license since Dec. 22, 2004.

According to the affidavit, an undercover agent from the Ohio Department of Public Safety went to Club Vixen on May 11 and paid a $5 cover charge. The agent said there were numerous cans and bottles of beer, jello shots stocked in a refrigerator cooler behind the bar, and various types of liquor on a shelf above the bar. The agent purchased a beer and a shot of vodka for $4, the affidavit states.

A second undercover agent also paid $5 to get into the club on May 11 and bought a jello shot for $2, the affidavit states.

On May 18, both agents returned to Club Vixen and saw five men standing near the entrance of the building, where they smelled burning marijuana. Both agents overheard one of the men state he only had a “one hitter” left for the evening, a presumed reference to marijuana.

Both agents said they paid $5 again on May 18 to get into the club, where they again saw beer, liquor and jello shots for sale. One agent bought a jello shot for $2 and the other bought a beer for $2, according to the affidavit.

On June 15, an undercover agent paid a $10 cover charge to get into Club Vixen, where the agent saw numerous individuals with red plastic cups and saw one man bring a beer to the bartender, which the bartender opened and poured into a cup. The man paid the bartender $1, the affidavit states.

The affidavit also states that on the May 11 visit, both agents were subjected to a pat down search by a bouncer, but a customer who entered immediately after the first agent told the bouncer he had his “pieces” on him and was allowed to enter without being patted down. It also states that during the same visit, the agents were approached by two female “dancers,” and one of them indicated she would like to leave, but was unable to do so.

The affidavit states there have been at least 27 calls to Brookfield police from the club so far this year, including noise complaints, disturbances, fights and suspicious vehicles. It also details several recent police calls:

  • On June 16 at 2:37 a.m., there was a disturbance reported in the parking lot.
  • On June 1 at 2:48 a.m., there was a large fight in which one patron was struck in the head with a beer or liquor bottle.
  • On May 30 at 1 a.m., Brookfield police were called to stand by while some employees were fired and during the standby, a Brookfield officer saw an open and used condom on the floor where a “dancer” and a man had just been.
  • On May 26 at 3:56 a.m., Brookfield police were called to an aggravated robbery at the club, where a patron was allegedly beaten in the bathroom until he was unconscious. When he woke up, he discovered approximately $4,000 was taken from him.
  • On April 27 at 3:29 a.m., a big fight was reported, but most of the patrons were gone when officers arrived.

The affidavit states there were at least 15 calls to Brookfield police from the club in 2012, including fights, noise complaints, a stabbing, a theft, a car theft and operation of a sexually oriented business after permit hours. It also states there were at least 11 police calls to the club in 2011 and at least nine calls in 2010, including assault, drug possession, criminal damaging, theft and warrant arrests.

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