Party Over at Club Rio Grande

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

At Tuesday morning's Dothan City Commission meeting, commissioners unanimously voted to revoke the business license for Club Rio Grande located downtown.

The decision comes after a year filled with run-ins with the law.

“In March there were two people that were shot on the premise, in July there was a 19-year-old found outside the club, he was beaten. August, there was a 26-year-old female found beaten inside the club with a beer bottle and, of course what happened on Christmas night,” said Lt. David Jay with the Dothan Police Department.

And because of all these incidents…

“The police dept. really requests this place be shut down,” said Jay.

City leaders decided; they've had enough.

“All in favor say yay. (7 yays). All opposed to nay...it's been revoked, thank you,” said Mayor Mike Schmitz.

Lt. Jay says in 2009, police responded to 125 calls at Club Rio Grande.
He says you must take into account that the club is only open a few days during the week.

“I think they are only open Friday and Saturday night so you're looking at 104 nights and you have that many calls, it’s not like they're open 7 days a week,” said District 3 Commissioner Paul Lee.

“We've had car thefts, we've had cars broken into , we've had drug activity, we've had armed robberies, pretty much you name it's happened there at Club Rio,” said Jay.

Club Rio Grande was the scene of four shootings in 2009.

The most recent; when gunfire erupted Christmas night, sending three people to the hospital.

“We started looking at how many times we respond to this business. Sometimes it’s two, three, five, 10 times a night,” added Jay.

Lt. Jean Turner with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation provided photos of alleged illegal activity taking inside the club.

“In some of these pictures, it's clearly over the fire departmentlimit; it looks like sexual acts going on inside the club in front of everyone,” said Lt. Turner.

So for now, the party is over at Club Rio Grande.

The owner of the club, Monica Warren, was not present at this morning's meeting to defend her business.


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