COLUMBUS, Ohio — The City of Columbus has secured a court order against a Hilltop bar with a history of violent crime, shootings and robberies in recent years.
Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said the city secured a preliminary injunction against the owners of the Spotlight II Lounge.
“The long history of violence and criminal activity at this bar presents a substantial safety risk to patrons, employees and area residents, and it’s imperative that the City step in to hold property owners accountable and protect public safety,” Klein said. “We want to work with property owners to end the violence, but if that proves too much for them to address, we will not hesitate to take further action, including shutting the bar down for good.”
Klein said the court ordered the bar to close the weekends of Aug. 19-21 and Aug. 26-28. Additionally, the bar was given restrictions during all other days, including:
- The bar will close by 1 a.m. and no patrons may be inside the establishment after 1:15 a.m.
- Bar owners must maintain licensed, uniform security during all hours of operation and until 2 a.m.
- Owners must take reasonable measures to prevent loitering on the premises and sign a criminal trespass form that permits law enforcement to remove any individual found on the premises after 2 a.m.
According to court documents, the Columbus Division of Police has been dispatched to the bar at least 50 times since July 1, 2021. A majority of those responses occurred between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Police received dozens of calls for stolen vehicles, car break-ins, fighting, theft, shots fired and other disturbances over the past year.
Additionally, the city attorney’s office said the bar has engaged in unlawful adult entertainment performances on multiple occasions in violation of Columbus City Code.
The property owners also owe $7,274 in delinquent property taxes. Property taxes were last paid on June 21, 2021.
Earlier this year, CrimeTracker 10 looked into the number of homes and businesses shut down by the city of Columbus for various violations, including drug trafficking, prostitution and other violent crime.