Cleveland in midst of gasoline station liquor allow battle


CLEVELAND – Cleveland city guides and some residents of the Glenville neighborhood are battling to get the liquor banned from a company they believe has been a haven from crime and violence for the past 18 months.

Cleveland Councilors Michael Polensek and Anthony Hairston have taken the first step to revoke Gas USA’s alcohol permit on the corner of St. Clair Avenue and East 123rd Street.

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission denied the business owners’ application for alcohol permit renewal.

“This facility has been a major source of violence in the Glenville neighborhood,” said Polensek City Councilor. “When I hear older women tell me that they are scared to walk down the street because the characters are hanging in this house, my response is that it is completely unacceptable and outrageous. And the owners and operators of this business would never tolerate this type of behavior in the suburbs where they live. We refuse to accept it in the Glenville borough. “

Polensek referred to Cleveland police reports and police calls to the site over a period of 13 months that were included in the Alcohol Commission’s report.

“In support of these complaints from January 2019 to December 2020, there were 23 incident reports from the Cleveland Police Department for the gas site,” the report said. “These included seven crimes, eight attacks and one murder on July 6, 2020, three threatening, one ethnic intimidation, two with a hidden weapon and one murder on November 4, 2020. Also, on December 20, 2020, two customers were killed in the Shot near the gas pumps. “

Gas USA attorney Kevin Brennan said he would appeal the Alcohol Board’s decision and made the following statement in response to our story:

The city of Cleveland saw the number of murders in the city increase 44% year over year in 2020, as well as an increase in the total number of violent crimes.

These crimes occur in all businesses in the East 123rd and St. Clair area, including Gas USA. The increase in the number of violent crimes is partly due to the decrease in the number of police officers on the streets. It is not due to law-abiding citizens running businesses that serve the neighborhoods hardest hit by the rise in crime.

In April 2020, Gas USA signed a cooperation agreement with the city of Cleveland. Under the deal, Gas USA approved a number of changes to prevent crime, including:

1. Hiring security or off duty Cleveland police officers to patrol the station during its busiest hours;

2. Installation of additional cameras and a camera system that will manage the video files for at least 72 hours;

3. Install signage advising the public that no loitering or drug use is permitted on or near business premises;

4. Installation of additional lighting on the outside of the site.

The Ohio Division of Liquor Control told News 5 that Gas USA had until July to file an appeal.