Deputies anticipate drop in crime after Decker Boulevard bar agreed to shut its doors

Deputies anticipate drop in crime after Decker Boulevard bar agreed to shut its doors

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Richland County deputies along with the South Carolina Department of Revenue are working to permanently revoke Mi Casita Sports Bar and Lounge's business license.

On Tuesday, the Mi Casita Sports Bar and Lounge relinquished its license to sell beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages, according to officials with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. RCSD added Mi Casita’s owners agreed to shut down the business for good.

Major Harry Polis with RCSD called it a “major win” for businesses and folks who live in the area.

“We anticipate a drop in crime affiliated with Mi Casita when they close,” Polis said.

In the last three years, officials said deputies have responded to more than 50 complaint calls at the venue located at 2205 Decker Boulevard ranging from alcohol violations to other violent crimes including multiple shootings and a murder that took place in 2017.

Polis said the majority of the calls came during business hours. He also noted most of the problems deputies saw regarding criminal activity in the area was a direct result of the business activity taking place at Mi Casita.

“People aren’t just riding by Mi Casita, causing problems,” he said. “They’re going there because that business was offering, as an example, adult activity. They were stripping and that’s something that not every business owner on Decker offers. So, the people who are going to Mi Casita, they were going there because they were getting something that they couldn’t get elsewhere.”

Tommy Geddings has lived in the neighborhood across the street from Mi Casita for about 16 years. Through the years, he said he’s heard the loud music, occasional fighting, and even gun shots. He said he and his wife were thrilled to hear the club would be closing.

“I think things are going to improve,” he said. “It’s been such a major problem for so long. Probably this isn’t the best way to put it, but it’s almost like a cancer in the neighborhood being removed.”

Major Polis said the deputy presence in the Decker corridor will not change. He said they will continue to patrol the area and maintain high visibility.

The South Carolina Department of Revenue, along with RCSD, filed an emergency hearing to revoke the license for Mi Casita after the venue had several complaints. The hearing was scheduled for August 8, but then Mi Casita surrendered their license on July 30.

The Department of Revenue filed a motion to dismiss the emergency hearing Wednesday.

As for a timeline for the license to be completely revoked, according to the Department of Revenue, Mi Casita has until August 24 to request a contested case hearing.

If the owners do not request a hearing, the revocation will be final.

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