Residents report Midtown Center to county officials and police - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Residents report Midtown Center to county officials, police

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Elizabeth Maceus Elizabeth Maceus

The Midtown Center event center has been in trouble before for wild, out of control parties, sometimes of an adult nature. The former teen center could be in trouble again.

The facility on Laroche Avenue has neighbors sounding the alarms after recent parties they say have produced explicit songs, late night drinking and ordinance violations.

The center was the target of a show cause hearing before Chatham County Commission almost a year ago, and was granted a second chance.

At the time, then chairman Pete Liakakis said the former teen center had rooted out a bad apple, turned things around and was holding respectable events. The neighbors claim the old tricks are back.

"They had a party and it didn't end until 3:30 in the morning with motorcycles running around and around," Elizabeth Maceus told WTOC.

Curfew set last year by Chatham County Commission for the Midtown Center was 11 p.m., she said. Maceus lives directly across the street from the facility off Laroche and watches like a hawk, and has for years.

She claims to have seen it all and couldn't believe it last year when the owners kept their license.

"I was absolutely shocked. There is no liquor license and they were serving underage people over there," she said. "It's raw. X-rated. Horrible stuff going on."

In the past, she's even been scared for her life.

"Heck yeah, when they start shooting guns and everything, bullets do pass through walls," she said.

After last August's show cause hearing, and one last chance, neighbors say parties are back and they say the proof of the broken laws are on Facebook.

"They do whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want, however long they want. They are not accountable to anyone," Maceus said.

"They are not zoned to serve or consume alcohol. They do not have a liquor license. They are not a private club.  It's not a private club when you advertise to public and charge a cover charge," Elizabeth Scott, President of the Bacon Park Association, told WTOC.

Scott has been keeping close tabs on Midtown Center as well.

"They are selling alcohol by the drink, openly. I have turned that all into the county manager and the police," she said.

"I'm trying to learn as much as I can as quick as I can," Tony Center, Chatham County Commissioner, told WTOC.

Commissioner Center is now aware of the issue in his district, and asked for an update from county manager Russ Abolt.

"That always concerns me when you have gunshots, loud music, noise," Center said. "Anybody who wants to serve alcohol at special events has to go through county commission. I've been through that already."

"The stipulation was at the last show cause hearing they were supposed to be shut down by 11 p.m. and not consume or buy alcohol. If that happened, they would lose their business license," Scott said. "That's exactly what I want to happen."

WTOC stopped by Midtown Center owner Jim Syskin's other business to get his side of the story and left a message with his secretary. We did not hear back from him. We are waiting on the city manager report, along with Tony Center, to see how the county responds to the allegations.

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