Mynt Lounge shut down, declared public nuisance

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis nightclub has been shut down and declared a public nuisance, according to Shelby County District Attorney's Office.

District Attorney Amy Weirich and Shelby County Sheriff's Office held a news conference at 3 p.m. at Mynt Lounge to announce the closure.

Thursday at 10 a.m., officials served a nuisance petition to Mynt Lounge.

Shelby County Sheriff's Office multi-agency gang unit and Memphis Police Department worked in connection with the district attorney and city attorney's offices.

They cited several recent violent incidents, including the shooting death that claimed the life of a New Orleans firefighter. 

Officials said the nightclub has also had problems with drugs, and they received multiple complaints from neighbors and surrounding businesses.

"It's a situation where we had to take action," prosecutor Paul Hagerman said.

Hagerman said they support businesses, but business owners owe a responsibility to their patrons and neighbors.

"When you don't live up to those responsibilities, when your business creates a crime problem and a violence problem and a gang problem, then we come in to shut you down," Hagerman said.

SCSO Chief Deputy Floyd Bonner said since Mynt Lounge opened in January 2016, the sheriff's office has received 57 calls to the nightclub. Those calls were for shootings, assaults, fights, auto burglaries, crowd control, felony arrests, and thefts.

"There are even bullet holes from the night the firefighter was shot and killed that are still in the walls and windows," Bonner said.

More recently, two men were shot outside the lounge December 2. No arrests have been made in either case.

Bonner said narcotics officers were able to purchase illegal drugs from out of the nightclub on two separate occasions. Officers witnessed marijuana being smoked openly inside the club.

On December 8, five security guards employed by the lounge were arrested for not being licensed. One of those guards was charged with carrying or possessing a weapon, and another had a felony warrant for possession of cocaine.

"The Mynt Lounge is also less than a mile-and-a-half from three schools and four churches," Bonner said.

As recent as Thursday, officials discovered eight fire code violations, five building code violations, and five health department violations.

"As you can see, the Mynt Lounge has been a nuisance to this community," Bonner said, adding that the sheriff's office invested valuable resources into the location just to police it. "We are happy today that the Mynt Lounge is being closed, shut down."

The nightclub's owners will appear in court December 27.

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