Thursday evening, the city of Hinesville held a show cause hearing for the Big Apple owners that led to the denial of their 2019 business license application. City Attorney Linnie L. Darden led the hearing by presenting different elements to the council.
“This is to determine whether the council wants to do nothing at all or suspend their license,” Darden said. “They’ve had three strikes already.”
The first element introduced to the council was recent violent incidents including the Big Apple bouncer who was thought to have lost his eye after an altercation at the club. Hinesville Police Department Detective Kyle Lairmore presented in detail the altercation involving the bouncer and a recent shooting in the Big Apple parking lot where a vehicle was struck three times.
The next element presented to the council was drugs involved with the Big Apple presented by HPD Investigator Gil Amador. He explained they received complaints from citizens and police officers about the possible trafficking of narcotics in the club before conducting an undercover investigation. He explained that dancers were offering cocaine to patrons as well as showing their breast which violates a city ordinance.
Amador also advised during a drug raid in September, Big Apple part-owner Antionne Nyguen was found with marijuana on his person. Amador also told the council about possible prostitution in the Big Apple’s V.I.P. room.
While the HPD were presenting, Distrcit 3 Councilwoman Vicky Nelson and District 4 Councilman Keith Jenkins began to ask investigators questions.
“How did we allow this many violations?” Nelson asked. “Were we just waiting for this?”
Police Chief Bill Kirkendall explained to the council the process of waiting for those fined or arrested at the Big Apple to go to court before bringing issues to the council. He also explained that their alcohol license was under probation from the state.
“It was a combination of events that brought us here,” Kirkendall said. “We were trying to work with the state.”
When asked by Nelson, as the expert on crime in Hinesville what did he think should happen, Kirkendall explained how violent incidents have been increasing and recommended denying the Big Apple owner’s 2019 business license.
Nyguen and part Owner Sun Ye Young’s attorney Ivy Hurt explained to the council the owners have started working with a new security company, created a no tolerance work environment, and now only keep employees for a few days due to the strict environment .
“I just want to work and support my family,” Nyguen said.
In a 2-1 vote, the council voted to deny the 2019 business license for the Big Apple and suggested to the owners they come up with a detailed plan to curb the crime in their establishment to present to the council at a later time.
Hurt plans to hopefully be on the next city council agenda to present the detailed plan and get the 2019 business license approved.