Lott: One bar is source of trouble in Five Points - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Lott: One bar is source of trouble in Five Points


Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott held an unusual news conference on Wednesday to discuss the Sheriff's Department's information on gang violence in Five Points.   

Lott revealed that he sent his gang unit into Five Points without the knowledge of the Columbia Police Department and confirmed what many people of the Five Points community have been saying for weeks, if not months: one particular nightclub is generating a disproportionate amount of trouble in the entertainment district.

That club is called The Library, and it is located in the heart of Five Points.

Sheriff Lott says undercover officers spotted numerous members of one particular gang with a national reputation inside the club and that security was very substandard.

"That one club is the draw for the gang members that are coming into the Five Points area," said Lott. "So we were able to identify that particular gang and what they were doing, where they were doing it, and how they were operating. We also identified other groups of young males that were just roaming the Five Points area, not there to patronize any location, but basically looking for fights, looking for gang members, and also looking for people to rob."   

Lott says his department's operation took place Oct. 26 and also involved the traffic unit and drug suppression personnel.

Lott appeared with Interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago, who said his department would be working with the sheriff to adapt some of the Sheriff's Department's techniques into the Police Department's procedures.

Lott says he has not been directly in contact with The Library's owners, but when asked what needs to be done about the situation, the sheriff says that club needs to close.

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