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Archive for Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Last Call owner questions presence of police dog

Steffes, law enforcement talk about security issues

December 27, 2005

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For three Saturday nights in a row this summer, the county's police dog, Gero, stood guard on the curb outside Last Call, 729 N.H., according to club owner Dennis Steffes.

In the months prior to the dog's deployment, there had been a series of problems related to the club's patrons, including two incidents of looters barging into convenience stores after leaving the club and stealing hundreds of dollars worth of beer, snacks and candy.

Steffes said he has a good relationship with police, but that he was upset enough about the dog's presence to ask for a meeting with Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin.

He was upset largely because Saturday night is Last Call's popular hip-hop night, and most of the patrons are black.

"I said, 'If I don't sue you, someone else will,'" Steffes said. "That looked real bad, and it can't happen again."

The episode is one example of the public-safety issues that have confronted the club - formerly called Tremors - since it opened as Last Call in early 2003.

Douglas County's police dog, Gero, has stood guard outside Last Call, 729 N.H., according to club owner Dennis Steffes, pictured last week outside the bar. The dog was brought in this summer after a series of problems related to the club's patrons. Steffes said he had a good relationship with police but that he was upset enough about the dog's presence to ask for a meeting with Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin. "I said, 'If I don't sue you, someone else will,'" Steffes said. "That looked real bad, and it can't happen again."

Douglas County's police dog, Gero, has stood guard outside Last Call, 729 N.H., according to club owner Dennis Steffes, pictured last week outside the bar. The dog was brought in this summer after a series of problems related to the club's patrons. Steffes said he had a good relationship with police but that he was upset enough about the dog's presence to ask for a meeting with Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin. "I said, 'If I don't sue you, someone else will,'" Steffes said. "That looked real bad, and it can't happen again."

The number of police calls alone doesn't single out the club as a particularly troublesome bar. During 2005, for example, Cadillac Ranch, Crosstown Tavern and Abe & Jake's Landing each had more reported batteries than Last Call.

But the type of crimes involving people leaving the club have been violent and unusual for the Lawrence bar scene. Most of them involve Topeka or Kansas City-area residents who get into fights or disturbances after leaving the club.

Steffes has a special arrangement with the city to close Last Call at 3 a.m. to keep police from being overwhelmed by closing-time traffic from bars. He's required to stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m.

Steffes said he hadn't sensed any friction from the opening of a new condominium building across the street, the Hobbs Taylor Lofts. But the new building on the block stands in sharp contrast to the dance-club scene.

"The back of the parking lot here still is a public urinal for the boys," Hobbs Taylor resident Rud Turnbull said, though he said he couldn't link that to any specific bar. "The entire atmosphere down here has been changed dramatically (by the lofts), but without changes in some of the bars or the behavior of the participants."

Steffes said Last Call is designed to be an urban-style dance club, complete with a $100,000 sound system and a VIP area with leather couches. Its biggest night is "hip-hop night," an 18-and-over attraction that draws hundreds of people from as far away as St. Louis.

It's not unusual, Steffes said, for patrons to stand in line for an hour to get inside.

But a Topeka woman whose 18-year-old daughter reported being raped by two men earlier this month after leaving the club early on a Sunday morning says Last Call's popularity has gone too far. She said many of her daughter's underage friends come to the bar from Topeka and are preyed on by older men.

"I think that's a bad place for these teenagers," the mother said. "I think they need to close it down for a little while and do it a different way - 21 and up and no fake IDs. ... It's a bad situation."

Steffes said he spoke with the mother and told her what he often tells critics: He controls what happens inside the bar but can't be held responsible for what happens after people leave.

On the air

See 6News anchor/reporter Janet Reid's story about issues surrounding Last Call at 6 p.m. today on Sunflower Broadband Channel 6.

"Just because she was here dancing that night, am I supposed to follow everyone and see where they are going?" Steffes asked. "'While your daughter was in our custody, she was safe.' That's all I could tell her."

Police view

Chief Olin declined to be interviewed for this article about his meeting with Steffes. Department spokesman Sgt. Dan Ward said that during the meeting, Steffes provided "insights about the bar business, and the chief listened."

After the second looting incident earlier this year at Zarco, a police spokesman said it would be a matter for city officials to consider when deciding whether to renew the club's license.

"I think the majority of the people that go to those are law-abiding people that want to have a great time," Capt. David Cobb said at the time. "Then there's a group that comes just to be disruptive. ... We're talking about criminals. We're not talking about color."

Last Call's liquor license was renewed in the fall.








2005 reports linked to club

Recent incidents associated with Last Call: ¢ Feb. 20, 2005: For the second time in a month, dozens of people leaving the club barge into Zarco, 1500 E. 23rd St., and steal hundreds of dollars worth of beer, candy and snacks. ¢ May 8, 2005: A man pulls a gun on a group of Kansas City, Kan., women who are beating his girlfriend. The women previously had been in a fight on the dance floor at Last Call. ¢ Nov. 27, 2005: A 16-year-old Kansas City, Mo., girl intentionally drives her car into a group of three women in the 700 block of New Hampshire after a dispute at the club. The women, all from Kansas City, Mo., suffered minor injuries that didn't require medical attention. Police said it appeared the girl used a fake ID to get into the club. She was arrested on suspicion of aggravated battery. ¢ June 12, 2005: An unidentified man pulls a handgun on two Olathe men outside Zarco, 1500 E. 23rd St. According to a report, the Olathe men were leaving Lawrence with another carload of acquaintances after being at Last Call. As they stopped to buy gas, another group of people drove into the parking lot, and they exchanged words before the gun was pulled. ¢ Dec. 4, 2005: An 18-year-old Topeka woman reports being raped by two unknown men in a parking lot near the club.

From the beginning of the year through Nov. 30, police responded to 100 calls to Last Call, an average number, Sgt. Ward said.

On the entire block, police responded to 426 calls between the hours of 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., a relatively high number. But with the Bottleneck nearby and no way to tell where the calls originated, Ward said he didn't feel safe drawing any conclusions about the bar being more of a problem than other establishments.

Since Jan. 1, 101 police cases had originated in the 1000 block of Massachusetts Street, while only 50 had originated in the block housing Last Call, Ward said.

Club owner responds

As people come into the club, Steffes said he often stands out front, looking people in the eye and making small talk to size up their attitude. To get in, he said they must have three things: a good attitude, a valid ID and money.

If someone gets inside and begins showing a bad attitude, he said he'll ask security to pay special attention to the person and find a way to remove him.

"While you're here, you're going to behave like a human being, or we're going to open the back door with your head," he said.

He said his security staff is trained carefully, including taking classes on gang recognition. He urges them to practice their security codes and communication - something that paid off earlier this month when bouncers patted down a man and found he had a handgun.

"He was put up against the wall. He was handcuffed immediately," he said. "The whole thing took 10 minutes."

It was the first handgun his guards had taken off a patron at one of his clubs, he said. Steffes, known for challenging the city's smoking ban, also owns Coyote's, 1003 E. 23rd St.

He said people are too quick to try to blame his gathering place for problems that happen after the crowds leave the dance floor.

"Should we try to catch the criminals or extinguish the watering holes?" he asked. "I will not punish the majority for the actions of a very small minority."

Staff writer Ron Knox and 6News reporter/anchor Janet Reid contributed information to this article.

Comments

Ragingbear 9 years ago

Wait a minute... Convienience stores? I know that area quite well, and the nearest store is about 6 blocks away. What are they trying to say? Because somebody attacked a store, they must have come from this place?

But not from a white bar. Remember, it's not discrimination if we call it profiling.

Steve Jacob 9 years ago

To be fair, the Hobbs Condos will run out the Bottleneck soon after Last Call.

Nikki May 9 years ago

Ragingbear, look at WHICH gas station they are talking about. East 23rd. That's the zarco between Haskell ave and Harper. On the way out of town on K-10. Ok, so they were at the bar (I'm guessing they told the police where they came from. How would they know?) But, you sure can't blame the bar for that, it's clear on the other end of town.

As for Hobbs, I'm still optimistic that the 'neck is safe.

sweetpeagj 9 years ago

people bitch about the protection that the police are trying to provide but they are the same ones that ask where they are (the police) when ever something goes wrong. You can't have it both ways. When it is convienent or not. Last Call is closely monitored because of the type of calls that have been taken from there not the amount. Also, when the owner insults the officers and threatenes to run them off the road when they see them out not in uniform then they are just asking for bigger problems than just the bar.

christie 9 years ago

Most trouble makers come from Topeka and Kansas City.

Duh...

There should be an ordinance in this town to shut these places down if they attract this riff-raff. After so many police calls that should be it. Call it 'Last-Call-Law', seems fitting.

doc1 9 years ago

The reason they know that the looters were from the last call is because the video surveillance of the suspects showed them being at both places. Also the common sense of people wearing gang clothing and having gold teeth pretty much tell you they weren't hanging out anywhere else.

lonesome_breeze 9 years ago

Marion, most of the time I tend to agree some parts of the majority of your posts. Although at times you strike me as bit of a conspiracy theorist against the city government. But that is your thing and not mine. You seem sincere with your convictions. On this post I must wholeheartedly disagree with you. The story identifies the K-9 and the handler as County Deputies.. Although I don't have any first hand knowledge, I can't imagine a county deputy would put himself in a dangeous and possible liability situation to further the agenda of the CITY Commission. Now I am no expert, but I don't even think the city police have any say-so on where that County deputy decides to spend his time during the course of his shift. After all Lawrence is in Douglas County..so it is part of his jurisdction. So no LPD-City Commission conspiracy here designed to run Steffes out of town. I doubt any cops confer with any of the city commsioners on what is on their agenda, be it public or private.

ksmattfish 9 years ago

"Steffes has a special arrangement with the city to close Last Call at 3 a.m. to keep police from being overwhelmed by closing-time traffic from bars."

How many other bars get to have special arrangements? Is this the only one? If this bar is causing the police so much trouble that it requires a special arrangement no wonder the police park outside.

yeah_right 9 years ago

I am surprised at everyone's ignorance that most troublemakers come from KC and Topeka. Yeah, there are troublemakers who come into Lawrence to party but please don't deny the fact that there are born and raised Lawrence residents causing trouble as well. An earlier post mentioned that Last Call is a hangout for Topeka losers and wannabe gangbangers. Perhaps, but it is also a hangout for Lawrence gangbangers (not just wannabes) as well, and college students, and people who feel like shaking their things to some hip hop on a Saturday night.

This crowd is not new to Lawrence. It did not suddenly arise when Last Call came to town. There alway has been and always will be a hip hop night somewhere in Lawrence on Saturday nights. I remember several...Tremors, Abe & Jakes, Jack Flannigans and on and on. As long as KU continues to bring "hot" young people to Lawrence, there will be people coming from out of town to go out.

daddax98 9 years ago

topflight you are an idiot. Not withstanding the grammar, punctuation, spelling errors or the ALL CAPS post to attest that a business owner is responsible for the behavior of his patrons after they have left is moronic. He has a right to make money and takes steps to ensure that people are safe in the club and immediately after leaving. Even going as far as staying open an extra hour (with no drinks served) which allows some of the patrons to sober up before hitting the road. I know Dennis and quite frankly I don't much care for his wannabe Mafioso persona but the man deserves to make a living.

And larryville, what do you mean by apes?

doc1 9 years ago

I don't understand why Steffes would have a problem with the Police Dog outside the bar. It makes a presence. These thugs know that when they leave the bar they should get the heck out of town.

coach 9 years ago

I agree Doc. It's pathetic that businesses purposly shut down on Saturday nights around the Last Call closing time. It used to be the Kwik Shops were open 24 hours, Same as the 66 station on East 23rd and the other station in north Lawrence next to the interstate. Now all of those business shut down just for the sole purpose of the thugs leaving that bar on Saturday. They are afraid of being overun and looted and now their businesses suffer. This is BS, they need to run these thugs out of town.

yeah_right 9 years ago

"Food stamp paying blacks"..."it's lack of culture not color." Those two statements in the same post... they don't seem to agree with each other.

gnLHSLT 9 years ago

that comment was me being mean -

gnLHSLT 9 years ago

but in the end - it's not opinion that makes these people bad - it's thier actions and behavior that follow them. using the alley way as a bath room ( similar actions to what a dog would do etc. )

who do these people think they are, by acting this way. If I were in thier shoes I would be trying my hardest to change the view of the public

why hasn't that view changed in 400 yrs ?

because they act to different for the public to understand or accept..

gnLHSLT 9 years ago

your right all people act like idiots when drinking ( me for one - that's why I don't drink anymore ) - but never once or do I even associate with anyone that would piss in an alley or shoot someone or rape etc.. the reason I use the description is because the current conversation is about black patrons going to this club and how they have acted in the past - which has warrented a police dog.

my point is these people that attend the club - act as if your mother was in the bar with you. Treat these young girls as if you want someone to treat your daughter or sister. if everyone would follow these rules, then there would be no problems or atleast less problems and police dogs wouldn't have to be present to make sure these people are behaving themselves .. pretty sad that it takes a dog to watch over humans. becuase of past actions

andilynn 9 years ago

I have been at last Call when it closes. The people who walk out of there act like they own the world. Something needs to be done to stop what happens to the local stores, and resturants. Two of my friends were thrown through tables because some of the patrons of Last Call got in a fight. i think Dennis has the right idea of having the 3 a.m. closing time. It gives the rest of us time to eat safely or at least drive home a little safer. Nothing like getting involved in a gang related accident, or being run off the road by two rival gangs fighting on the road. Both have happened to me. The fact that Dennis has put his security through different training classes to help them is a good thing. he reconized the possibility of problems, and took steps to help. I agree that once someone walks out of his bar and gets in their car, that Dennis and his clubs shouldn't be held accountable. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own actions.

Sigmund 9 years ago

I wonder how many teenaged girls got raped at Frat parties or in the KU dorms in 2005? I seem to remember a shooting incident at Brothers and at Henry T's in the last couple of years. I don't think the Last Call needs to be singled out. Someone is trying to smear the place and using the LJW reporter to do it. Who an why are left as an exercise for the reader.

gnLHSLT 9 years ago

I am a man of color - wrong assumption dude. I just don't compare myself to the people we are speaking of.

do you compare yourself to the people that go these clubs ?

gnLHSLT 9 years ago

smear the place - it's patrons do a better job to smear the place than any hate group could do. that's the whole point here.

act like humans and treat each other with respect

yeah_right 9 years ago

Last Call should not be singled out. I would say the dog is there to keep drugs & thugs out of Last Call. If a person came from KC or Topeka and did not want to enter Last Call because of the K9 presence they are just going to go to another bar in town. Walking around downtown with the dog on Friday and Saturday nights would be more effective. Is the LPD trying to keep them out of Last Call or Lawrence?

Confrontation 9 years ago

OMB-Just trying to give gnLHSLT a taste of his own medicine. He says he's a "man of color", but mostly likely a different color that those he is bashing. Maybe a fake tan.

kansasboy 9 years ago

I work for the City of Merriam Fire Department and we have a bar called Rum Runners in our area. There was a shooting where a young man was killed a couple of months ago (I didn't work that one) Then a few weeks ago another young man was shot and and killed (I did work that one). Both shootings happend on a "Hip Hop" night. The City of Merriam in its infinite wisdom passed a law saying ALL bars in Merriam will shut down by 12:00 am. Perhaps the City of Lawrence needs to look into that.

monkeywrench1969 9 years ago

Steppes...please

The dog is with the Douglas County department not the local pd. COunty guys can go anywhere they want in Douglas County. If you know a hot spot for drug dog work why not go to the area where you can make a couple of busts.

I have read other stories about drug dogs catching drug dealers simply by walking in public lots sniffing cars and quote "hitting on cars." The dog finds a car, they get a search warrant and they wait for the car owner to walk up to the car and they bust them. Pretty cool.

I say Topeka and KC people...come on over we have plenty of time to bust you.

Steppe is only worried about what goes on inside the club because he only has liability in the club. If the people know they aren't going to get in with a gun or whatever they leave it in the car. I was curious. If Steppe was so cop friendly, DID HE turn the guy trying to get into his club over to the police for carrying a concealed weapon.

del888 9 years ago

So let me get this straight.... Some of you think that the business owner is responsible for the things that happen outside of their business? For example, if a girl gets raped in a parking lot next to Walmart after shopping, then Walmart is responsible??? Or if a gang fight breaks out next to McDonalds after one of them eats a Big Mac, then McDonalds is responsible? That's rediculous. Dennis is doing the right thing.

hawkbygod 9 years ago

A County police officer and dog patrolled the entrance to a bar three times, about 6 months ago. Who the heck cares? There was an issue about safety at the bar, the police tried a different technique to get people to calm down. It has been several months since I've read about any big problems at last call.
Steffes is not being harassed on a regular basis. The Police have a job to do, they addressed a problem without effecting any one's rights. Why is Steffes bringing this up now? Is he trying to get sympathy because he lost his stupid law suit against the city?

monkeywrench1969 9 years ago

I remember the Henry T's shooting and it was around 1991 or 1992 and it was a couple of guys fighting over 50 cents on a pool table. It spilled into the parking lot and one guy went to his car in the parking lot got his gun and shot two guys. I think this is similar activity to what they are saying happened in the lot across from the Last Call and when it was Tremors (under the same owner).

Steppe is saying as long as the patrons from his club do it in the lot he has no responsiblity. He knows the hip hop crowds throw around a lot of cash like in the music videos so why should he change the music format. Why aren't there any anarchist on this post complaining about this being a capitalist plot to make money and keep the man down.

The Brother shooting was a guy from Topeka on hip hop night shooting the ground in a crowd sidewalk.

wonderhorse 9 years ago

hawk

Check your facts--the law suit is still going on.

monkeywrench1969 9 years ago

Del888 For your info. Walmart has had robberies in their lot and they do have security as a result patrolling the lot...it is a private lot they are responsible.

The lot they are describing across from Last call is a city lot and partial private lot owned by Borders. The city patrols it because Steppe is technically not responsible becasue it is not his private lot. Here is a blast from the past...Remember Langstons with one murder and one attempted murder in the lot. That was a private lot and they hire security to police their lot. The attempted murder was a security guard who worked for the club who got shot why watching the lot. They recognized the need for security on hip hop night and did the right thing. Steppe has no lot but is full of it if he says he has no responsibility for the patrons he brings to town on hip hop night. He has an alternative lifestyle night and no one gets shot, in fights or whatever on those nights.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 9 years ago

The fact is that Last Call is a problem bar. Yes, there have been other bars with a similar number of police calls but hardly any of them have been as serious as the ones at Last Call.

You want proof? Look up articles about Last Call in the J-World. Try the one where the people got shot in their car on their way out of town on K-10. They had been at Last Call and some words were exchanged. Next thing you know - BLAM! Or how about the one where the girl left Last Call with a guy that she had met and then BLAM! = he shot her in the head at her apartment.

Maybe it's not specifically the fault of Last Call. Maybe it is something inherent in "hip-hop night". Other people mentioned shootings, and problems, outside of other bars. Guess what the common theme was at those places? Yep, it was "hip-hop night".

Godot 9 years ago

Where is the guard at the gates to Oz when you need him?

gnLHSLT 9 years ago

You could say I have a tan . a Mexican Tan ... or should I say an educated, classy, well dressed, professional man of color - brown color that is. Yes I do look down at those people, not because of color, because of actions. Yes, there are members of the Mexican culture that are not the best citizens, just like there are undesired members of every culture. But the problem is not with the color it's the culture it's how one is raised - you have yet to make a statement about WHY are there problems in this club and who's to blame ? you just keep talking about me... this is not about your or me.. this about the club, it's patrons, actions of these patrons, type of music, and what it does to the surrounding business.

what is your view ?

hawkbygod 9 years ago

Did you read the Judges opinion opinion about the motion for temporary injunction? There is no way that Steffes wins his law suit against the smoking ban. Yes, there is still a suit in progress, but he has all but lost.

Also, I don't think that anyone is saying that Steffes has to control actions outside his bar. That is the responsibility of the police. Therefore, since there was a question of safety around Last Call, the police acted and posted extra enforcement in the area. Isn't that what we pay taxes for the police to do? Shouldn't we encourage this this type of proactive action?

HUB 9 years ago

First off the police patrol several bars in this town around closing time. For example I have seen them standing outside of the Granada, Brothers, The Cadillac Ranch, Last Call, Abe and Jakes, and others. Where are the articles with these owners complaining about the police.

Secondly if Dennis is right, and I think he is, he is not responsible for what occurs outside his bar when the people leave. The police are responsible and that is why they are there. So Dennis and the rest of you need to quit your complaining, the police are doing there job.

Thirdly if there is a bar that has guns being found on people and a history of closing time fights (the last call/tremmors) then the police should be there than watching Joe Frat boy pee in the street. It's just common sense, not a race thing.

del888 9 years ago

To: monkeywrench1969. If you read my post acurately, you would see that it says a girl gets raped in a parking lot NEXT TO Walmart. I am well aware that Walmart is responsible for it's own parking lot. There is a difference here tho, because Walmart is located on a private property parking lot, while the Last Call becomes city property once you step outside of the door and onto the sidewalk. So Steffes is not responsible for what happens once a person walks out the door.

One more thing.... The article says that it was the county's dog, but Steffes asked for a meeting with Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin. I believe that he is the city police chief. I did not see anywhere in the article that said the place was patroled by the county. Can someone point that out to me....

coach 9 years ago

Just a note here. The people going to these clubs only come here one night out of the week, yet they account for a weeks worth of police attention than the other bars do.

Jeremy 9 years ago

Why don't all of you go down to Last Call at closing time to see for yourselves.

Better yet, walk on over from the Free State brewery, go inside, and have yourself a frosty pale ale. All of your touchy-feely - help someone thoughts will go right out the door.

Especially after some thug knocks you upside your head for looking at him wrong. SEE FOR YOURSELF!!! Bring a camcorder so everyone can enjoy.

gnLHSLT 9 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Joda Totten 9 years ago

i am sick and tired of the race issue in this. point is, there have have always been thugs, criminals, and people who have no concept of right or wrong; it is up to those who will live by the laws and the police they hire to enforce those laws to insure the safety of the populace. Profiling, Hell, yes.

yeah_right 9 years ago

I agree, the police should continue patrolling these areas. Their presence is meant to prevent crime and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The real issue that I see is getting people to understand that this criminal behavior is not okay. It's sad because people do what they know. I would NEVER loot a convenience store or shoot anyone (unless self-defense) but that is because I did not grow up around criminal activity. I was taught right from wrong AND my parents were role models. So many kids are told what is right and wrong but they witness their parents/guardians breaking the law. They have the do what I say not what I do attitude.

The root of this problem is way deeper than hip hop night. It stems from childhood and growing up without the right people to look up to and teach them good values. What can be done to prevent this type of activity?

lonesome_breeze 9 years ago

Del888, the Sheriff's Department has a k9 handler that is a Deputy on patrol. The police department has no k9's as far as I know. At least I have never seen one. Deputies have county-wide jurisdiction. Cities that are within the county are not excluded from their jurisdiciton, even if that city has its own Police Department. In short that deputy can go stand anywhere he wants to with that dog,that he has a legal right to be. As long as it is within Douglas County. I don't know why Steffes asked to talk to the Lawrence Police Chief. Maybe he is just uniformed.

gnLHSLT 9 years ago

Ok .. I may have incorrectly brought up color in my past post messages today, just speaking freely but not taking into considersation people feelings and I am sorry for doing so.

One thing we must all ask ourselves - IS WHY ... is there a negative preception to hip hop night ? why is it that violent crime linked to this club and it's patrons ? color has never been the reason. It's how these people are rasied to act in public. It's lack of maturity and a huge void in confidence on how these patrons will speak to one another - I guess it's easier to shoot somebody these days... I have always tried to talk my way of it - when someone wants to bring violence to you - just turn around and walk the other way. I know it's hard to do but the only way to squash someone ego is to simply turn your back.

monkeywrench1969 9 years ago

del888

Walmart has a parking lot next to the building you need to be a little more clear in your description. If you are talking about a Rape occuring in the Kohl's parking lot that is their responsibility. If it happened in the old Crown lot it is Crown's lot. All you did was repeat what I said about the Walmart and the need for security.

BTW-the county guy can go anywhere IN THE COUNTY INCLUDING LAWRENCE...just like a STATE TROOPER CAN WORK AND ARREST ANYONE IN THE STATE or the KBI can go anywhere in the state.

Steppes went to Olin who has not direct control over the drug dog. I am sure he has a working relationship with the Sherrif but if the Sherrif says you make cases inthe city in the hot spots Olin can't do anything about it.

daddax98 9 years ago

gnLHSLT: You didn't "incorrectly" use race in your post you just expressed your racism and took it on the head. I can't say for sure if you are well dressed or not but I know for a fact you have no class.

topflight 9 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Confrontation 9 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Confrontation 9 years ago

gnLHSLT: I do think that Last Call needs to change some of the policies, such as allowing those under 21 to enter. The parents of these girls complain, but they don't seem to care that their daughters are entering the club with a fake idea at age 16. When I took a citizen's class at the Lawrence Police Department, they said that Lawrence was a safe meeting place for gangs from Wyandotte County and Topeka. Apparently, they can make some good drug/gun/whatever deals in Lawrence, without being on eachother's turf. I don't think hip-hop has anything to do with it, since most dance clubs in Lawrence play hip-hop a majority of the time. I also don't think that people on foodstamps should be characterized as thugs and troublemakers.

cowboy 9 years ago

The county would have an interest in this group as they leave , due to the fact they wreak havoc on the way out of town and down k-10 not to mention prior crimes committed at the local convenience stores.

Seems that Steffes just likes to see his name in print

btmson 9 years ago

How on earth can anyone blame Mr. Steffes for the actions of others? He has a business with the purpose of earning revenue. He doesn't send out invitations to troublemakers to make special appearances. How can people expect someone to control another's actions? The fact is that alcohol makes some people behave erradicly. Unless we want to go back to the days of prohibition, that's a fact we as a society must accept. I have been to Mr. Steffes establishments, and I can say that he does everything possible to control the safety of his patrons while they are there. This isn't a problem with Last Call, but a problem with society and it's tendency to act violenly.

HUB 8 years, 12 months ago

I agree that Steffes should not be blamed for what happens outside of his bar, on City property. But he needs to shut his mouth about how the police handle their business on City Property. The deal is he is making money on a thug based crowd, which cause problems in Lawrence when the club closes down. The article said that Steffes has given his bbouncers training in gang recognition and they have removed a gun from one of their customers. I wonder how much training the police get in gang recognition and how many guns they have removed from people. I am guessing more that the highly trained bouncers at Last Call. My point is if Steffes knows there is a bad elemet in his bar the police probably do also, and their training leads them to sit outside the bar at closing time. Steffes keep making your big loot and let the police do there job.

On a side note cut that ponytail off.

monkeywrench1969 8 years, 12 months ago

Here is a real test...Steppes change your music to 80's metal for a month and see if the same crowd shows up...I would bet $1000 it would change. I spoke to several bouncers at All Stars and when they changed the music from hip hop to Motley Crew Def Lep and clasic Van Halen, the crowd changed and so did the demeanor of the patrons.

Here is another comparison. How many fights, shootings, stabbings disputes took place at the American Music Awards, Grammy's or Academy Awards...How many have broken out at The Source Awards, other hip hop exclusive related awards events and record release parties.

monkeywrench1969 8 years, 12 months ago

Off,

That is the point... he is making money and he knows he can make money with hip hop night even though he knows it brings in the bad elements including some who are willing to come "all the way from St. Louis". Nelly used to come from St. Louis before he got real big when it was Tremors and he would bring 20+ people and create havoc.

Steppes recognizes the liability of having this crowd hence the gang recognition training. Why would the people need if it was not an issue and you know you are bringing this type of crowd...he is fully aware and should not get into the police officers business how they handle the problems his bar creates in the public lots.

It is about the money that gets thrown around with the HIp hop crowd like it is a music video

wonderhorse 8 years, 12 months ago

hawk

No, his suit isn't all but lost. I did read the judge's opinion. Why do you think he filed this suit? Out of pure contrariness? Maybe he actually is having a downturn in business, and thinks the smoking ban is the cause.

No, I am not a smoker looking for my "right" to smoke. I am a non-smoker, looking for the right of a businessman to run his business.

Devon Kissinger 8 years, 12 months ago

Want to run the bangers out? Have the PD & SO start serving warrants at the door. ID & NCIC check at the door, one stop shopping. Provide armed escorts to the county line at closing time. Bet that'll solve some problems. If you want to act like a gangster, expect to get treated like a gangster. I wonder how Steppe's patron would act if a large group armed with shotguns & rifles were posted outside of Last Call & along the routes out of town. Remember, an armed society is a polite society.

lonelyboy 8 years, 12 months ago

Just like he has the right to make money... he has no right to tell the police where they can bring their dog. Problem bars require problem solvers ... as long as he is making money he will still complain about anything or anyone that jeopardizes this,, wait til the $$ is gone and you won't hear from him. His secuity force should be the problem solvers .. if he is not responsible outside then why are they outside. flexing,,,

Vanderhoff 8 years, 12 months ago

Oh come on now....Mr. Steffes is lucky he is still in business. If the police had enough balls to go into Last Call on a saturday night, they would be amazed at what they would see. Here is the real scoop: You don't have an I.D. or aren't 21? Its cool, just walk up and look for the guy out front selling "VIP" tickets. For a stiff fee (usually $20-$40) those under 21 or those who "forgot" their I.D. can get in the club; bypassing the meat-head security at the front door checking I.D.'s. It really doesn't matter though because they don't even enforce the underage drinking. To top it all off....want VIP treatment? Pay a little extra and you can have access to an upper balcony where you can indulge in a variety of illegal activities. An area where you can smoke cigarettes or you can roll your blunts and smoke all the weed you want with your friends, and all the reassurance that you won't be thrown out or even asked to put it out. Any saturday night you will find an abundance of ashtrays filled with the remains of a "blunt" style cigar tobacco, stems and seeds. Hints that a fresh fatty was rolled. Walk into the club and you are greeted with the fresh smell of marijuana. It is a fact that these activities go on inside the bar and the staff does nothing to stop it....in fact they encourage it, but Steffes will just claim that "we can't control everyone or everything in the bar" and that it isn't "my fault" Mr. Steffes needs to quit his complaining and take a look in the mirror. For a man that stands for so much, it really seems that the rules just don't apply to him. He always hides behind some sort of excuse; "it's the city's fault" , "you are harassing my clientele". Save us the sob story and run a legit, respectable business, and then maybe the city will respect you. Oh, and as far as the 3 O'clock closing for the city's benefit...that is complete bullcrap. He does it to compete with Kansas City bars. I guess he thinks we are all as dumb as he is.

underground_voice 8 years, 8 months ago

If you bring it use it...take the K-9 inside the bar...don't worry about looking for anything...worry about having enough evidence bags to collect what you find!

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