Uneasy Maplewood council gives Myth extension for security plan

A pall of deja vu hung over the Maplewood City Council April 22 as it discussed improving security at Myth Live following a recent shooting. 

In order to keep its liquor licence, the city is requiring Myth to come up with a detailed plan by May 13 for improving its security. Myth staffers say they need more time. 

Council members, after making clear they want it done as soon as possible, granted an additional 30 days, moving the deadline to June 12.

“Time gaps can sometimes be filled with disaster,” cautioned council member Kathleen Juenemann. 

Maplewood Department of Public Safety Director Scott Nadeau told the council at the April 22 meeting that Myth staff requested extra time for its security consultant, former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, to observe multiple events at the venue, located off County Road D near Maplewood Mall, and determine next steps. 

“We’ve been burned before,” said council member Brian Smith, referring to leniency granted prior to a shooting at Stargate Nightclub that lead to the closing of the club in 2017. 

The council requested Stargate fix health and fire code violations following a string of incidents at the club in 2015 and 2016, including a homicide. By early 2017, Stargate, formerly on Rice Street at Larpenteur Avenue, was still in limbo, still in discussions with the city about increasing safety as the violations went largely unaddressed. 

In February 2017, there was a shooting with some 70 shots fired that left five injured. 

“Concert venues and nightclubs are not inherently dangerous things,” said Smith, pointing out that there doesn’t appear to be as many incidents at “umpteem other large-scale, professional nightclubs.”

“It’s about running a tight ship,” he said.

 

Myth plan and time-gap worries

The city tightened Myth’s liquor license leash in response to a massive brawl, reports of overdoses and thefts, and a shooting, all on March 29 after a concert by rapper Lil Baby. The shooting victim, shot in the neck while standing in the adjacent Ashley Furniture parking lot contracted by Myth for extra parking, survived.

These latest incidents, according to Maplewood police, follow a pattern. In the last two years, says a Maplewood Department of Public Safety report, there were over 20 arrests stemming from calls for a slew of infractions, including fighting and rape, and over 30 medical calls for alcohol or drug overdoses. 

Before the June 12 deadline, Myth has a concert headlined by rapper Kodak Black on May 1, over which Maplewood police and the council expressed grave concerns. 

“This [artist] has had some very serious problems in other venues in other cities,” said Mayor Marylee Abrams. 

Nadeau said police reached out to Myth staff specifically about the Kodak Black concert, recommending the venue be on its toes. 

Council members said they support Nadeau taking actions to stop anything from happening at the May 1 rap concert, or any show before the June 12 deadline for the new security plan. 

“If that means [Nadeau] pulling the plug, that’s what that means,” said Jueneman. 

Abrams called Myth “an important entertainment venue” in the Maplewood community, but added that the community doesn’t want a venue that is unsafe or a drain on public resources.

Nadeau said police met with Myth staff on April 12. “I think the folks from the Myth certainly understand the community’s concerns,” he said.

Myth staff and police talked about underage drinking, drinking to excess and the number of drug overdoses. Also, said Nadeau, talks covered better training for liquor serving staff, not letting in people who appear drunk and closing down the smoking area, where Nadeau said police have observed regular drug use.

 

–Solomon Gustavo can be reached at sgustavo@lillienews.com or 651-748-7815.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here