City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Friday that his office has filed 40 criminal charges against the owners and operators of the Playhouse nightclub in Hollywood for alleged after-hours alcohol sales, over-serving customers and lack of security.
“This latest case is part of our continuing efforts to crack down on allegedly problem nightclubs and the threat they pose to public safety,” Feuer said.
The charges come after a long history of crime at the location and multi-agency investigations over the last 10 months by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, the Los Angeles Planning Department and the Los Angeles Police Department, Feuer’s office said.
The charges filed by Feuer’s office allege:
— A shooting occurred outside Playhouse in the early morning of Jan. 1, 2018, when patron was shot in a leg, and officers discovered patrons still being served alcohol at approximately 2:45 a.m.
— On Oct. 25, 2018, officers observed an underage patron leaving the club who was found to be in possession of an unregistered firearm.
— Officers observed and documented numerous permit and Penal Code violations over seven inspections, and officers repeatedly warned the operators that they allegedly failed to have legally mandated security guards, failed to keep unguarded doors shut and locked, and continued to serve obviously intoxicated patrons who were over the legal limit.
Seven counts arise from the alleged failure to provide adequate security and follow proper security procedures, six counts arise from allegedly serving drinks to patrons who were obviously intoxicated, two counts arise from allegedly failing to keep an unsecured back door shut and locked and one count arises from allowing a minor on the premises.
Charges include violations of the Los Angeles Municipal Code and the California Penal Code, and maximum penalties exceed two and a half years in jail as well as thousands of dollars in fines.
Representatives of the Playhouse could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to the charges, the location and adjoined parking lot has been the site of frequent thefts, an armed robbery, and numerous assaults, including an Oct. 7, 2018, brawl involving approximately 20 intoxicated patrons that ended in a shooting.
In 2016, the City Attorney’s Office filed two cases against the operators of Playhouse for similar violations. On Sept. 7, 2016, Robert Vinokur pleaded guilty and was placed on formal diversion in which the case would be dismissed if the defendant obeyed for 12 months, and during the period of diversion, no new complaints were submitted to the City Attorney’s Office, Feuer said.
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