Archive for Thursday, December 26, 2013

Police ramp up presence near Oread Hotel after spike in alcohol-related offenses

December 26, 2013


An increased police presence appears to have tamped down on alcohol-related problems earlier this month in the 1200 block of Oread Avenue, site of The Oread Hotel and the bars and nightclubs it houses.

From Dec. 5 through Dec. 8, police arrested five men between 18 and 24 years old during a particularly active weekend during which Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman, recalled a significant number of alcohol-related problems being reported by area residents and officers on patrol.

The activity drew the ire of neighbors, including the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority at 1100 Indiana St. Jill Harter, a national Alpha Gamma Delta spokeswoman, confirmed that the sorority’s Lawrence chapter had contacted police but said the sorority preferred not to comment.

But the sorority was not the only complaining neighbor, and the calls to police did not go unnoticed.

“Any time we see a significant increase in activity we put our resources in that area,” McKinley said. “Sometimes the presence of officers deters criminal activity. You see a patrol car and you decide not to punch each other in the nose. Other times, not so much.”

The spate of offenses earlier this month included unlawful use of a driver’s license, public alcohol consumption, consumption by a minor and criminal trespassing.

In addition to an increased police presence Thursdays through Saturdays, McKinley said police have also encouraged a dialogue between the sorority — and any other concerned neighbors — and the Oread hotel, which houses establishments including The Cave nightclub and a bar and restaurant called the Bird Dog Bar.

Nancy Longhurst is the general manager of The Oread Hotel, which has been open since 2010. In a recent interview, she said that she has not heard directly from nearby concerned residents.

“But I’d be more than happy to talk to anybody at anytime,” Longhurst said.

Cave manager Phil Ozorkiewicz, meanwhile, could not be reached for comment.

Khatib said the proximity of The Oread’s bars to residences could also be cause for more police calls versus a bar located next to another bar downtown.

"The simple answer is yeah, we are spending a lot more time there," Khatib said. "The residents have called us and let us know they're not satisfied."

In response, and in addition to increased patrols, Khatib said he has met with Oread leadership to discuss concerns about bar activity in the area of their businesses. "They've been very cooperative and understanding of what we're doing and why we're there," he said.


Keith Richards 4 years, 4 months ago

I recall the city involving the Kansas A.B.C. with similar issues at Abe & Jake's a few years ago. Abe & Jake's let 18 year olds in just like the Cave. The A.B.C. told Abe & Jake's to raise the age to 21 only or they would revoke their license. I was told this by the owner himself and know it to be true. Why would the city (or state) allow an identical business to operate letting minors into one nightclub and not another? It seems as though the state, acting on behalf of the city, is violating fair business practice laws. In my opinion, if there is no food and only alcohol being served at a business, there should be a law that only 21 year olds can enter the establishment similar to liquor store laws.

William Enick 4 years, 4 months ago

You are 100% correct-o-mundo...Hope Ozorkiewicz reads this. And you should run for Governor. Just tell'm you played in a rock & roll band and are preparing for the 2nd Comming... me personaly...I like Egg Nog...

Joshua Montgomery 4 years, 4 months ago

Glad we, the taxpayers, spent $11 Million dollars subsidizing this business.

They are clearly great corporate citizens, dedicated to making the neighborhood a better place.

Jame Gumb 4 years, 4 months ago

You must be referring to Dawn Fiber, LLC, AKA Free State Broadband and MV Transportation for the great things they do and can do for our community.

But in all seriousness all you would have to do is set a few units up around the 1100 block of Indiana between 2-3am Thursday-Saturday to catch the drunken college kids running around screaming like drunken apes and cite the ones that act a fool for disturbing the peace, public intoxication and disorderly conduct and any other applicable offenses for a bit (it happens each time the Cave closes) and I bet that would start to make some heads roll.

Also have the police actually enforce the even seemingly minor law violations like this and actually respond to calls regarding it (because they usually do not). Many of the local residents that have to deal with this idiocracy each week and they could quite possibly head off some much more serious incidents from happening also.

It is quite lovely to get woke up to hearing people running around screaming and wooing when you have to go to work 3 hours later.

Joshua Montgomery 4 years, 4 months ago

I was working at one of our sorority sites and overheard one of the girls say "I don't got to The Cave anymore, I feel like I am robbing the cradle"

She was maybe 6 months past her 21st B-Day.

The Oread is serving under age clients and is not cutting off patrons who get well past their limit. It is a tragedy waiting to happen.

Since a huge portion of that project was paid for by the taxpayers, our community has a right to demand that they run the business responsibly. They need to move the entry age to 21 and develop a policy to prevent over consumption.

Enough is enough. Does someone have to die in a preventable DUI before our community takes action?

Jame Gumb 4 years, 4 months ago

I for once agree with you Josh.

I live in the immediate vicinity and I know myself and neighbors have called the police when there have been some serious issues with threats of violence, property damage and sometimes the minor issues of just noise and I estimate only about %60 of the time the police even respond to the calls and usually when they do it's 45+ min later. The things I have been seeing with the aggressiveness of some of the younger patrons a DUI could only be the tip of the iceberg. Have a feeling The Cave is becoming more like Club Magic was and that's pretty scary in a densely packed residential area.

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