Business owner pays for extra security to keep patrons safe

Stephen Leicht talks about security in Five Points
Stephen Leicht talks about security in Five Points

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A brawl and gunfire two weeks ago in Five Points are reasons why Duncan McRae started paying an off-duty police officer $35 an hour to stand outside his restaurant on game days.

It's the first time Yesterday's Tavern felt the need to hire extra security.

"We don't want that to happen again so we're going to do what we can ourselves," said McRae. "And the city is doing what they think is necessary to keep the peace."

He's pleased with the Columbia Police Department's safety plan.  

CPD said it will spend $11,000 in overtime pay for about 50 officers to patrol Five Points and the Vista.

They'll also get help from the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Richland County Sheriff's Department and Fort Jackson MP's.

Stephen Leicht owns a couple of Five Point businesses, including Sharky's.

"On Friday, Saturday night it's not unusual for us to be near capacity," said Leicht.

He's expecting more than 200 customers at his bars this Saturday. Every weekend he has 14 private security officers on deck and a uniformed police officer is usually on patrol to help control the crowds.

"Almost everyone has the same goal which is to have Five Points to be a fun, exciting place for people of age to have a good time," he said.

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