East Knoxville bar shut down on nuisance property injunction

East Knoxville bar shut down on nuisance property injunction

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Max's Bar at 507 S. Harrison Street was closed. Max's Bar at 507 S. Harrison Street was closed.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Officials closed an East Knoxville bar Wednesday and arrested and cited several people as a nuisance property operation continues.

Officers also searched Max's Bar at 507 S. Harrison Street.

The operator of the bar was arrested and charged:

  • Paul Gillespie, 50, charged with: sales and delivery of Schedule IV drugs, sales and delivery of Schedule VI drugs, and storage of liquor for resale. He was also cited for: selling beer without a permit, not displaying a beer permit and not having required signs posted

Two other men were also arrested and charged:

  • Samuel Mitchell, Jr., 38, charged with: gambling promotion
  • Stewart Branner, 40, charged with: gambling promotion

Police also issued misdemeanor drug citations to five people:

  • Kayauandra Lashella Forbes, 34, cited for: simple possession of marijuana
  • Tamiko LaShawn Dixon, 31, cited for: simple possession of marijuana
  • Rhonda Lakeisha Holloway, 32, cited for: simple possession of marijuana
  • Shadey Dominique Freeman, 25, cited for: simple possession of marijuana
  • Sylvena Mattress, 41, cited for: simple possession of marijuana

Officials say officers seized: 60 grams of marijuana, $3,990 in cash, 50 Xanax pills, five gambling numbers receipt books, 259 bottles of  beer, eight cans of beer and 44 bottles of liquor.

Brittney Baskins lives behind the bar. She says she  never found out who fired a bullet into her home, but for now she's relieved about the shutdown, due to her family and the daycare across the street.

"I've seen them smoke marijuana outside. I'm seen them do drug transactions. All the traffic and violence that goes on over there, it keeps my kids up all hours of the night," Baskins said.

The bar is boarded up. Neighbors say the operators have gotten away with too much for too long, and they hope the public nuisance ordinance will lead to a permanent shutdown.

In 2008, a man was shot in Max's Bar. In 2009, police responded to a call reporting gun play in the parking lot. Earlier this year, a woman called police saying she was assaulted at the bar.

It's the fourth business to be shut down in Knoxville under the Nuisance Law. The Big Orange Bar and Grill and the Deluxe Inn were closed in August. Mickey's T's Sports Bar was closed in September.

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