Trouble-makers in Bars Beware!
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
The Gainesville Downtown Owners and Tenants, Inc., voted to start a black list for customers who get into fights or cause other problems for a year from virtually all bars and clubs in the downtown and midtown areas.
There's already a trespass black list for a group of motels on Southwest 13th Street, mostly for prostitution charges. But the downtown bar ban will work in a similar fashion. Bar owners will get a sheet with a violator's name, description and even a picture. The person getting the trespass warning will get a list of establishments on which they could be arrested on the spot for trespassing. It is up to the individual business to decide to participate in the ban.
"A bar owner makes that determination along with the police officer on the scene," says Ken McGurn, a downtown developer and the man spearheading the effort. "So if someone gets into a pushing or shoving contest, that's not a particularly big deal. That's not the intent. The intent is to get that serious person who has weapons or who's got it in his head to cause problems."
McGurn says he already has in mind three people he would like on the list already...and envisions about two dozen people on the list once the ban takes affect. He hopes to have the ban in place by the end of February.
But one bar owner who wanted to remain nameless said he thought the ban was a little extreme. He says he already has the power to kick anyone out that he doesn't like, whether they have done anything wrong or not. So as long as they don't cause problems in his bar, he's fine with accepting their money.