Owners of Twilight Zone club say they'll fight judge's order to close

October 20, 1998|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,SUN STAFF

The owners of an Arbutus nightclub that has been the subject of complaints about disruptive behavior pledged yesterday to fight an order from a Baltimore County judge temporarily shutting down the club until Monday.

A hearing on whether to reopen the Twilight Zone will be held within 10 days, said Carol Saffran-Brinks, assistant county attorney. After that, the county plans to move to close it permanently, she said.

The club -- which opens late and operates after hours -- was closed temporarily late Friday after Judge Robert E. Cadigan reviewed a motion for a two-week restraining order. The motion included affidavits from county police and paramedics, one of whom stated, "I fear for my safety each time I am called to the Twilight Zone."

But Dennis C. McCoy, an attorney for Late Spot Inc., which owns the club, said yesterday he plans to fight the closing.

"It's grossly unfair," McCoy said. "The club is not unsafe. The allegations were about people outside of this place."

The club, in a business park in the 3700 block of Commerce Drive, has been the subject of complaints, including an Oct. 10 incident in which paramedics heard gunshots at 3: 30 a.m. after they were called to assist those hit by pepper spray from the club's private security force.

Police Officer Charles Massey of Wilkens Precinct said he has patrolled the area around the club every weekend since it opened Feb. 15, 1995.

In an affidavit filed last week, Massey said he "would characterize the vicinity of the Twilight Zone as lawless, chaotic and, at times, nearly riotous."

Pub Date: 10/20/98

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