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Club owner accused of serving minors

The owner of a club for teenagers in York, South Carolina, has been arrested, accused of allowing underage drinking and supplying the alcohol.

When the man, 25, opened the club, he billed it as a safe place for teenagers to go and have something to do. He said he heard from parents who thought it was a great idea to fill the idle hours of young people 14 and older. Now, he faces charges that he provided alcohol to minors.

The club owner, however, said he did no such thing. He said the night the trouble occurred; there was a private party inside the club. Police were summoned when two men who tried to take beer into the club were stopped and got into a fight with club bouncers.

When officers arrived, they witnessed people quickly leaving the club, according to the police chief. Officers found a large quantity of alcohol in the dumpster behind the club, some of it still cold, he said.

The club owner said he did not see any alcohol brought into the club and should not be held responsible. He said that just because he owns the club does not mean he provided the alcohol or condones underage drinking. He said he has invested too much money into the club to risk it by serving minors.

He said the men who tried to take the beer into the club threw it in the dumpster after being denied entrance. The owner said any other alcohol found could have been dumped there by anyone, adding strangers have been filling his trash receptacle since the business opened.

Police said that six teenagers reported finding beer in the back room during the private party. They said they would go to that room to drink, and then return to the alcohol-free main area.

Despite what police said were eyewitness statements, the owner said he will fight the charges, again proclaiming his innocence. It is unclear if the juveniles involved in the incident face underage drinking charges at this time.

Source: WSOC TV, "Club owner accused of providing alcohol to minors,"Greg Suskin, July 16, 2012

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