Strip Club Owner Says He Was Forced Out By Arlington Cops
ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Countless hours of recordings captured a repetitive scene inside an Arlington adult nightclub.
Uniformed police officers would walk in and spread out through the club.
In back rooms they would perform sobriety checks on dancers. Inside the main room club owners said police would check identification on customers.
It happened every week, owners said, sometimes every night, for years.
“If you were getting robbed, mugged, raped or hassled in any which way, you didn’t need to dial 9-1-1, you just needed to dial our club,” said owner Ryan Grant. “The police were here.”
In his first television interview on the battle, Grant said Flashdancer, which the city shuttered until 2013, fell victim to a pattern of police activity designed to drive his business out.
It worked for at least the next year.
Under an agreement signed this month, Flashdancer has to close until January 2013.
It becomes the 12th sexually oriented business to close in the city since 2003.
Just two remain.
The one-year closure is the maximum penalty under state code designed to deal with places that attract crime.
The city asked the state attorney general to file a lawsuit declaring the Flashdancer a nuisance in May 2010.
After a year and a half of fighting, including a federal lawsuit against the city, Grant gave up and signed off on the closure.
“Why couldn’t anybody come to this club and say hey Ryan, we had an undercover cop buy an x pill off an employee last night, you need to take care of that,” Grant said.
Assistant city attorney Kathleen Weisskopf said the city never discussed problems with the business because they believed it wouldn’t get the result they needed.
Arlington doesn’t have an ordinance that defines when a business is a nuisance. It refers to state code that defines a nuisance as a place people regularly go for drugs, gambling or prostitution.
It doesn’t require convictions to confirm the crimes.
But Weiskoff said police weren’t there in an effort to find crimes and stack up evidence.
“There were routine issues occurring out in the parking lot as well as the building,” she said.
Flashdancers is the first adult club the city has asked the state to file a lawsuit against.
It has used the tool three other times, all with hotels.
Grant says he will open again.
“Because the business is here. There is a calling for the business here. There’s many citizens in Arlington who do want this,” he said.