City attorney takes aim at AppleJax - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City attorney takes aim at AppleJax

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Owner Mun Mun Patel says she's done everything in her power to keep a safe environment. Owner Mun Mun Patel says she's done everything in her power to keep a safe environment.
City Attorney Nathan Davis City Attorney Nathan Davis
APD answered the call when three men fought, and two died just outside the bar. APD answered the call when three men fought, and two died just outside the bar.

Albany's City Attorney recommends the city revoke the liquor license of an East Albany club, after two men were stabbed to death in the parking lot earlier this month. Police and prosecutors determined 42-year-old Willie Frank Lowe stabbed 23-year-old Jerro Toye and 22-year-old Joshua Walls in self defense outside Applejax Bar and Lounge.

City leaders say they're have been problems there before. Three deaths here in five years is too much. It's a lesson for this club and others across town, you are responsible for what happens in your parking lot and in this case they say there was no security in this grassy area or parking lot where the men were killed.

Three deaths in five years at AppleJax Bar & Lounge on East Broad, the two most recent March third, have left the city with an issue.

"We think there's just a lack of any security provided for the parking lot as unfortunately exhibited by these three deaths and that locations is just not one where alcohol should be sold," said City Attorney Nathan Davis. 

It's up to city commissioners to revoke the club's liquor license. Nathan Davis will use testimony from former security personnel who say the business ignored pleas that assistance be requested and reports of criminal activity be made to Albany Police. Davis says it doesn't matter that the club has a new owner since the previous death in 2006.

"To us it shows maybe there something just inherent in this location," Davis said.

He does fault the owner for the circumstances that night, that four men could fight, pistol whip someone, that two men were stabbed to death before anyone intervened.

"For this much activity to go on and there's no intervention or anything by the licensee it just we think shows failure to follow the alcohol code," Davis said.

Owner Mun Mun Patel is out of town but when reached by phone says she stands behind comments made earlier this month that she's done everything in her power to make it a safe environment.

"We don't think that's an accurate portrayal of the establishment but again that's the purpose of having these hearings," Davis said.

Even Jerro Toye's mother weighed in with the city attorney making it known she wants to see something done so this doesn't happen again. 

The Albany City Commissioners is expected to decide Tuesday whether to have a revocation hearing.

City officials hope the hearing can be set up within the next two weeks. The city expects to call several former AppleJax security guards to testify. The owners of AppleJax are encouraged to attend but don't have to be there for the hearing to move forward.

 

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