Rude Rudy's owner has surrendered alcohol license, club closed

Published: Sep. 24, 2014 at 10:05 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 24, 2014 at 2:21 PM EDT
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STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - The owner of Rude Rudy's in Statesboro has surrendered his alcohol license, and the club has closed.

A hearing was held on Wednesday morning, where he was told that he cannot apply for another license.

The club came under scrutiny on August 29, when 18-year-old Michael Gatto died after an assault at the club.

"While this certainly does not bring Michael (Gatto) back, I believe this is a step in the right direction as we move forward toward making the City of Statesboro a safer place for those that live here, work here, and for those who choose to come here to further their education," Mayor Jan Moore said.

Gatto's mother spoke to the council. While she thanked them for reacting swiftly toward Rudy's, she warned they should govern other night spots more closely to avoid a similar tragedy.

"What happened to my son was disgusting," Katherine Gatto said. "It was avoidable. Can you imagine how that makes me feel? In my opinion, Rude Rudy's Bar and other predatory establishments are like a pedophile running a candy store next to a preschool."

Council member Phil Boyum said the concern shouldn't end with Rudy Rudy's closing. The city should look at their alcohol ordinances for changes they need to make to prevent this tragedy from happening somewhere else.

Police arrested an off-duty bouncer, Grant Spencer, and charged him with felony murder in Gatto's death.

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