City will tow cars at nightspot
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 1:00 AM
Following months of complaining about violence and alcohol outside a popular nightspot in northwest Philadelphia, Mayor James A. Young has said vehicles parked on city streets will be towed.
Young made the promise at last week's Philadelphia Mayor and Board of Aldermen meeting after meeting earlier that day with the pastor of a neighboring church who has voiced concerns for more than a year about drunks and violence.
The pastor has also complainted about vehicles being parked outside despite "No Parking" signs.
Earlier this month, two men were charged in connection with a June 30 shooting outside the nightspot know as Curlee's, sparking more outrage from members of Goodway Baptist Church.
"I've met with the pastor and the police chief today," Young told aldermen in the Tuesday, July 23 meeting. "And I want people to know that anything parked on the streets shall be towed hereto forth. We have to send a message that we want peace in our community. Whatever it takes. "
Young told aldermen that officers had responded to complaints about vehicles parked alongside the streets, but none had been towed as discussed in a prior board meeting.
Pastor W. C. Rush and other church members appeared before the Mayor and Board of Aldermen after the June 30 shooting pleading for an increase in police patrols.
They displayed several beer cans and liquor bottles on a mat during the July 9 aldermen meeting, telling the board they were picked up in the church's parking lot as "proof" of what was going on at the nightclub, which is owned by Curlee Connors.
Rush told aldermen that the recent shooting was not the first.
"Some have gotten killed there," he said. "Their blood was in our church parking lot."
Mayor Young said on Monday that things had quieted down in the area since the last week's board meeting, when he vowed to have the vehicles towed.
"So far, I hope they have gotten the picture that we are painting," Young said. "Sometimes no news is good news."
He said most of the vehicles were being parked on the streets near the nightclub between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekends.
"That's when we get the complaints," he said. "At night, they start gathering there. We are intensifying patrols to make sure our streets are clear in that area. We are trying to make it safe for our citizens."
Elijah Foster, 19, of 1510 Garland Ave., Detroit, Mich., was charged with two counts of aggravated assault in connection with the June 30 shooting.
Ken Thomas, 21, of 250 Adams St., was charged with simple assault and possession of a stolen firearm.
The shooting occurred about 3 a.m. outside of the nightspot.
Marquai Finley, 23, and Jonathan Leach, 23, both of Philadelphia, were talking to a friend outside of Curlee's when a shooter walked up and fired, striking both men in the stomach, Police Investigator Fredesz Moore said.