Police employ little-used law to take club owner to court Towson business is cited for liquor law violation

September 11, 1996|By Suzanne Loudermilk | Suzanne Loudermilk,SUN STAFF

After years of disturbances at Towson's after-hours Club 101, police finally have a weapon to take the owner to court.

A little-used law banning alcoholic beverages during early hours of the morning led to a summons issued Monday for a liquor law violation at the club. A Baltimore County District Court date is set for Nov. 19.

The action follows stepped-up police surveillance at the club this summer in which officers issued numerous criminal citations for narcotics, alcohol and other offenses.

The 3-year-old club in the 8800 block of Orchard Tree Lane, off East Joppa Road, draws hundreds of young adults and college students from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

A cover charge, usually $8, allows patrons 18 and older into the club. Those who are 21 or older have been allowed to bring alcoholic beverages into the club, which does not have a liquor license.

At times, more than 1,000 people have been on the club's premises, including the parking lot, said Maj. Michael H. Stelmack of the Towson precinct. He estimates that about 16 citations are issued each night the club is in operation.

As a last resort, Stelmack said he asked the Baltimore County Police Department's legal division to research liquor laws.

"I was frustrated," Stelmack said. "I'm afraid someone is going to get hurt there."

Officials found the previously overlooked law that bans the consumption of alcoholic beverages between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. on any premises open to the public.

Owner John A. Giorgilli, who said yesterday that he did not want to comment on the police action, was given notice of the law by certified letter before an undercover police operation on Friday, Stelmack said.

According to charging documents, an undercover police officer reported witnessing several patrons consuming alcoholic beverages in the club after 2 a.m. Friday.

Neighbors, who have complained about noise and unruly behavior at the club, applaud the police effort.

"We've experienced troubles in the area for years," said Wayne Skinner, past president of the Towson-Loch Raven Community Council. "Anything the county can do to resolve the problems we have experienced is appreciated."

Pub Date: 9/11/96

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