Two Knoxville nightclubs closed under nuisance law

Two Knoxville nightclubs closed under nuisance law

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Officials say police were called to La Rumba 471 times since April 2008. Officials say police were called to La Rumba 471 times since April 2008.
Millennium opened in August 2011 as Exotic Night Club, but recently changed its name. Ownership remained the same. Millennium opened in August 2011 as Exotic Night Club, but recently changed its name. Ownership remained the same.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Two Knoxville nightclubs were shut down Thursday under the state nuisance law.

Officers with the Knoxville Police Department Repeat Offender Squad and the District Attorney General's Office closed La Rumba Restaurant and Bar, 4900 Chambliss Avenue, and Millennium Night Club and Bar, 315 South Mohican Street.

DA Randy Nichols alleges each business is an establishment where illegal drug use, quarreling, fighting, drunkenness, breaches of the peace, alcohol violations and extremely violent behaviors were rampant.

"The reason that we close down these locations is to protect the community," said Asst. District Attorney Sean McDermott.

Officials say police were called to La Rumba 471 times since April 2008. Police were called to Millennium 107 times since October 2011.

"Everything from alcohol violations, public intoxication to things like fights and shootings and more violent crimes," said McDermott.

Millennium opened in August 2011 as Exotic Night Club, but recently changed its name. Ownership remained the same.

Philip Lomonaco, the attorney representing La Rumba's owners, says they have done nothing wrong.

"If they can't control crime in the city, closing down an establishment that's run by a mother and father that does nothing but try to enforce the law and stay above the law is the wrong way of going about it. They're discriminating against Spanish people. They don't like the Spanish people having a place to go to unwind on the weekends," he said.

The two nightclubs have been the source of numerous complaints from neighboring businesses.

"We've had like graffiti written on the walls and stuff like that, trash, things like that, but also we've found like needles in the parking lots," said Leroy Kautz.

Kautz owns Wah Lum Kung Fu, neighboring La Rumba. It is a place he says the neighborhood will be better without.

"I think it'll bring the neighborhood back. I won't have to rope my parking lot off every weekend so that will be kind of nice," he said.

The properties will remain closed until further notice.

The District Attorney's office says this is the 41st and 42nd nuisance shut down in the city, and they say crime reports typically drop by 85 percent after the closures.

They say only a handful of those closed businesses later reopened in the same locations.

6 News Reporter WHITNEY GOOD contributed to this report.

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