Attorney: Dover Nightclub Shut Down Over Unpaid Rent, Not Crime - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Attorney: Dover Nightclub Shut Down Over Unpaid Rent, Not Crime

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DOVER, Del.- A Dover nightclub that closed down last week was shuttered because of unpaid rent and not violent crime occurring near the establishment, an attorney representing the club's landlord said on Monday.

Kenneth Young, who represents landlord James Kozel, said the owners of Allure Nightclub had been having issues paying rent on the property since May 2018. He said eviction was granted on Sept. 25 in J.P. Court #16 and court records show a default judgement against Allure.

Allure's closure comes after police said three people were shot last week in the area of a parking lot next to the club last week, the third shooting incident in recent months Dover police have said occurred in the general area of the club, which is located at 865 N. DuPont Highway.

But Young said money, not crime, was the motivation behind the eviction.

"They just started getting farther behind and he kept working with them but they had just stopped paying totally," he said.

Kozel could not be reached Monday for comment.

Shawn Sheppard, a co-owner of Allure, declined comment about the legal action but said "there was more to it." He felt there may have been pressure from the City of Dover or State of Delaware to have the club shut down because of crime.

In the past, Sheppard has complained that the Dover Police Department has unfairly associated violent crime with Allure and said most of the criminal activity takes place next door in the area of parking lots for Home Depot or a Mexican eatery.

"I shouldn't be blamed for what happens off our property," he said.

Cpl. Mark Hoffman, a Dover police spokesman, defended mentioning Allure in news releases this year about shootings and an incident involving people hurt by a blade or sharp.

Those crimes, Hoffman said, have occurred in the general area of the nightclub and at times when no other adjacent business is open and the club may be closing down for the evening.

"It is accurate to state there are patrons in the area that are causing these issues," he said.

In one of the more recent shootings, Dover police said a man, identified as Naquan Ingram, was arrested this year for shooting another person at Allure---only three years out from being convicted for opening fire at a previous nightclub at the same address.

Sheppard said he and Allure co-owner Chiffon Rogers had gone through great lengths to employ security at the club's entrances but could not deploy them beyond the club's property because of liability issues raised by local law enforcement.

Additionally, Sheppard claimed he ran into difficulties in dealing with the city in trying to hire off-duty police officers to provide additional security at Allure and believes city law enforcement should have regularly scheduled officers to be in parking lots near the club during its later business hours.

"Good cops would be there. Why should I have to wait to call you and you take your time getting there?" he said.

Since the eviction, Allure's liquor license, which was registered under Rogers, has also been voluntarily relinquished, according to Richard "Jack" Cordrey, Delaware's commissioner of the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement.

Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said losing the state liquor license would also likely be followed by the city revoking Allure's business license in Dover.

"I certainly don't relish the thought of any business closing down in our community but if that's what they deem necessary to do, then we have to follow suit," he said.

 

 

 

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