BSO shuts down dance party at Club Cinema
Club's owner accuses Broward Sheriff's Office of harassment
POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – It was a sold out show at Club Cinema in Pompano Beach Saturday night with thousands there to see Carnage, the club's foul-mouthed DJ.
Carnage may have promised to rage on, but the Broward Sheriff's Office shut him down.
Club patrons posted photos on social media of a BSO deputy at the DJ stand just after 2 a.m. Sunday.
Sanford Topkin represents the club's owner. Marie Frontera, his sister, once served time in federal prison for running large amounts of cocaine from Colombia.
The City of Pompano Beach is trying to shut down the club, filing suit, calling it a nuisance and saying that young teens are getting their hands on alcohol and drugs.
Topkin says that to make peace with the city, they voluntarily surrendered their liquor license this month. He said that for Saturday night's big event, they hired a former FBI agent to monitor the show and even had a drone to take photos from above.
He says that photos taken at the club are not those of kids behaving badly but of law enforcement harassment.
Topkin says he plans to take the photos to the feds this week to initiate an investigation into BSO.
It all comes down to the club's liquor license.
Local 10 reached out to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. A department spokesperson said Club Cinema's license is currently active.
The City of Pompano Beach said an active liquor license means by ordinance they can't stay open past 2 a.m.
Club Cinema's attorney Sanford Topkin reads the rules differently. He shared a consent order with Local 10 that reads in part, "Respondent agrees that by January 1, 2014, it will cease selling alcoholic beverages..." That is why Topkin said they had every right to stay open past the moment BSO shut them down.
That said, as long as their license remains active with the state, the city ordinance may well still apply.
Local 10 attempted to speak with Pompano Beach's Mayor on this issue but were told he would not speak on camera given the pending litigation.
The next hearing on the city's request for an injunction is on Monday.
Meantime, the Club plans to take its arguments and video to the FBI. They want to file a complaint, asking the feds to investigate the actions of BSO.
Topkin also shared a chart he created comparing the number of incidents at Club Cinema to 6 other venues.
"Numbers don't lie," he said as explained how Club Cinema had a smaller number of incidents when comparing occupancy to Cheetah. "Ten times more crime going on there than there is at Club Cinema," proof, he said, they are being unfairly targeted.
However, of the six other venues on his chart one was a casino, the rest are strip clubs. Part of the city's concern with Club Cinema is that it attracts and caters to a younger demographic, late teens and young adults.
Topkin believes BSO's enforcement is politically motivated. He also described their problems as a "generation gap," -- elected leaders not in tune with the music and venue preferences of today's youth.
The next big show at the club is scheduled for March.
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