Officials: Clubhouse Deemed Unsafe, Public Nuisance
7:38 AM, May 8, 2012
A northeast side motorcycle clubhouse deemed unsafe and a nuisance to the neighborhood was shut down on Monday by Indianapolis police.City officials boarded up the Road Huggers clubhouse in the 2300 block of Station Street with strips of plywood, citing health and fire code violations."Unlicensed dance halls are an issue and continue to be an issue across Indianapolis," said City Prosecutor Helen Marchal. Our position is that this establishment needs to stay shut down because of all the structural issues, the health code issues and the fire code issues.The IMPD, the Indianapolis Fire Department, the Marion County Health Department, the Department of Code Enforcement and the Marion County Prosecutor's Office all had a role in Monday's enforcement action.Inspectors said they found a wide range of code violations, including non-existent sprinklers, non-working smoke detectors, exit doors that had been chained shut, faulty electrical work and a portion of the buildings structure supported with jacks and timber. In addition, the Road Huggers had failed to obtain the necessary permits to expand the dance hall, RTV6's Jack Rinehart reported."It's our position that the building is extremely unsafe," Marchal said.Police cited the Road Huggers with three different civil citations for operating an illegal dance hall. Club President Saleto Henderson was arrested and charged with two felony counts of maintaining a common nuisance.Neighborhood residents who lodged complaints against the motorcycle group applauded the city's action."They block traffic (with their) motorcycles all night long, says George Lewis, who lives a block from the clubhouse. My only concern is when the kids are out here playing and the motorcycles are flying up and down the street."There was a lot of noise," resident Keith Walker said. I guess it will be more peaceful (now)."This is a perfect example of a neighborhood speaking out and saying this place is a nuisance, one that's bothering everyone in the neighborhood, said Marchal. From the city's perspective, we can attack these illegal activities with these businesses that aren't following the licensing codes in a way that is as impactful as doing it in a criminal court.Henderson faced civil charges during a scheduled hearing later this month, and he will go on trial for the felony charges later this summer.