Pleasantville, NJ council revokes strip club license after underage death
Centerfolds Cabaret of Pleasantville was essentially put out of business Wednesday night as the city council voted unanimously to revoke its mercantile license.
The vote took place a month to the day that Irving Mayren-Guzman, 19, was served alcohol at the club and found dead two days later in a marshy area outside.
Before the hearing started, Acting Municipal Solicitor Jenna Cook told the Council and the audience, which was filled with members of his family and friends who have been calling for the club to be closed, that the hearing was not about Mayren-Guzman's death.
"The focus of this hearing is the facts and evidence, which forms a legal basis that gives the city the authority to revoke the mercantile license of Centerfolds," Cook said.
Police have responded to numerous complaints that involved "substantial number of police calls during the past several years" involving assaults, robberies and fights, according to the notice about the hearing.
Pleasantville police have not disclosed a cause of death as their investigation is ongoing. Nobody has been charged with killing Mayren-Guzman.
Police charged three patrons of the club that night. Jamaul Timberlake, 30, of Atlantic City, John Hands, 24, and Garnell Hands, 29, both of Pleasantville, were charged with second-degree aggravated assault and conspiracy.
Centerfolds comments for the first time
The hearing took on the tone of a trial as Cook asked questions of Mayren-Guzman's friend who was at the club on Jan. 23. As video was shown of the group entering the club and their ID being checked, sobs could be heard coming from the audience.
The friend said he, Mayren-Guzman and his brother each took three shots of alcohol.
Cook said that management of the club admitted that Mayren-Guzman was served alcohol at the club. Because he is underage, he should have not been admitted in the first place.
The Guzman family heard directly from the owners of Centerfold for the first time, according to G. Bruce Ward, the club's attorney. He said the club had refrained from commenting because of misinformation on social media about what happened the night Mayren-Guzman went to the club.
"I want to express from me to you the sorrow and the grief the owner and employees of Centerfolds have. No one wanted this. And I'm going to express my sorrow because I have three sons and one grandson and I can't imagine the pain and suffering," Ward said.
A crowd outside the municipal building cheered after the vote, according to CBS Philly.
“It’s such a stressful and overwhelming feeling ... This doesn’t bring us back our brother but this puts us on the right path,” Mayren-Guzman's brother Eduardo Alvarez told CBS Philly.