Owner of crime-plagued club fights back

By Alan Campbell bio | email

WALTERBORO, SC (WCSC) - A Colleton County night club is no stranger to violence. In recent months local authorities have considered the business a nuisance, but the club owner says otherwise.

Between May 2009 and early November this year, the club has had half a dozen incidents ranging from stabbings to shootings as well as assaults.

The bar's owner Keith Douglass says he will be beefing up security to make sure the bar is a safer place for everyone.

"We're going to put more boots on the ground, which means doubling the security force on the outside at the front entrance, and inside the club itself. The larger the force obviously the more amount of eyes we have to look out for things that could possibly happen," he said.

The most recent shooting happened in the early morning hours of Black Friday. It's the second in the last five months. Both times people were hit by gunfire.

For one neighbor the criminal activity inside and out of Club Camelot has gone on far too long, and he wants nothing to do with it.

"For what kind of activity that goes on there we just don't want that in our community" he said.

Douglass says new rules at the club will take effect immediately, including a dress code, going through a metal detector, and pat downs. Guests won't be allowed to sit in the parking lot. They'll have to come inside within 30 seconds of parking.

Douglass has some strong words for anyone wanting to cause trouble.

"Don't come, the first comment is don't come, the second comment is if you come, you will be detained and arrested to the fullest of the law," he said.

Douglass' neighbor says he doesn't buy into this new safer and secure approach.  He says many people who have owned the bar before Douglass have said and made many promises. All Hodges has to say is he will believe it when he sees it.

"I would have to see it first. I would actually have to see it first, because we have heard the same things from several other different tenants, and nothing ever happens. When you hear shots at your back door that's not a good feeling. That's not a good feeling and you're just concerned," he said..

Club Camelot is located on Augusta Highway just off I-95 in Walterboro.

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