New Orangeburg sheriff shuts down three law-breaking clubs

By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield - bio | email

ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - Just weeks into his new job, the Orangeburg county sheriff is cracking down on law-breaking club owners.

Between the color and the location, Club 601 a bit of a landmark -- or it was, anyway. So is the Allen Murray club and two others, Cee-don and Purple Rain. "We're not concerned about putting people in jail or shutting down businesses, we're concerned with safety," said Sheriff Leroy Ravenel, who has shut down three of the four clubs down since taking office last month.

"I've been working here 23 years, so it doesn't take me long to go find the trouble spots," said Ravenel.

Ravenel says he shut the bars down because they were crime hotspots. A murder took place outside Club 601, and Ravenel said he shut down the other bars for things like overcrowding, improper electrical wiring, alcohol violations and drugs.

We tried to speak with the owner of Club 601. His number was unlisted, so we went to his listed home in St. Matthews. No one came to the door.
The sheriff says that since he's shut the clubs down, it has saved deputies two or three calls per night. He says it isn't about taking away the good times, it's about preventing the bad times. "There's a lot of other places you can go out and have fun right here in Orangeburg that have business licenses, liquor licenses," said Ravenel.

The sheriff says he doubts two of the clubs will ever be able to re-open because there are so many violations. He also says if you're running a club in Orangeburg and you're not running it right, his office will shut you down.

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