YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) — A Mahoning County Common Pleas Court magistrate will decide if a Mahoning Avenue bar will be declared a nuisance.
A hearing began Thursday morning before Magistrate Timothy Welsh on the city’s request to declare the All City Sports Bar a nuisance and to issue an injunction to prevent the bar from operating. It wrapped up at noon and is expected to continue Friday morning.
The hearing got underway after Assistant Law Director James Vivo and Walter Madison, attorney for bar owners Brandon Brown and Isiah Poindexter, spent about an hour trying to reach a settlement but could not.
The city boarded up the bar Aug. 28 after receiving several complaints and also answering several calls at or around the bar dealing with instances ranging from gun arrests, large crowds blocking Mahoning Avenue, parking complaints and littering.
A man was also shot on the sidewalk outside the bar this summer. A few days before it closed, two carloads of men also exchanged gunfire near the bar.
They were also issued citations by the state for allegedly violating COVID-19 reopening guidelines.
Several members of the police department’s Vice Squad, which answered several of the complaints and also undertook special patrols to monitor the bar and the streets around it are expected to testify. One of them, Officer Chris Staley, testified Thursday about several incidents in August where he was called to the bar or made arrests outside the bar.
However, Madison asked him if the bar owners should be held responsible for what people do when they are not in the bar. Madison also asked how bar owners are supposed to defend themselves if accounts of what they say happened were not taken down in original police reports.