A Bridgeport social club “widely known for violent incidents and wreaking havoc on the community” has been ordered to shut its doors and its owners to pay $2,000 apiece.
According to the mayor’s office, Judge Barbara Bellis ordered the closure of L&A Billiards at 1506 Stratford Avenue on Monday. The club, located in the city’s East End, has been a hotbed of violence in the city.
“The social club is permanently closed, and the premises that contained the social club will remain vacant,” the order reads. “As stated in more detail on the record, no one is permitted in the backyard fenced area of the premises located at 1506-1514 Stratford Avenue, except for maintenance or trash drop off.”
The order requires the property owners to remove furniture from the area immediately and prohibits residents from bringing alcohol into common areas. Police must receive the names of all tenants within the next 24 hours and be notified of any apartment vacancies.
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch issued the following statement in response to Monday’s court order:
“Today’s decision is a victory for kids and families in the East End and across our city. For too long, L&A Billiards wreaked havoc on a Bridgeport neighborhood. It served as a place where abusive and violent behavior were a regular occurrence. It operated through loopholes under state law that weren’t in the best interest of kids and families on the East End. I’m thankful for the hard work of our police department and city attorney’s office, and the tireless efforts of community leaders including Councilwoman Eneida Martinez-Walker. I’m also thankful for the decision by Judge Bellis today. The closing of L&A Billiards serves as another step toward Bridgeport becoming an even safer and more secure place to live, work, and raise a family.”
It comes the day before Gov. Dannel Malloy will meet with city officials to brainstorm ways to reduce violence in Bridgeport. Malloy and Finch, along with Asst. Chief James Nardozzi of the Bridgeport Police Department, will hold a news conference with community members at noon Tuesday.
According to the Connecticut Post, Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane filed a lawsuit to shut down the social club in March. The Post reports that three people were shot in the social club, one fatally, in March of 2011.