ST. LOUIS – One of the owners of Europe Night Club speaks out after Citizens for a Greater Downtown St. Louis blames them and the nightclub industry for crime, including a recent incident involving a gun in a downtown parking lot.
“My patrons are the victim, they’re not the problem,” said Bobbi Baker, partner of Europe Night Club.
Baker spoke out after Citizens for a Greater Downtown St. Louis claimed on Twitter that they were responsible for an incident in a neighboring parking lot around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Something she said has no ties to their business.
“The crime is not a club problem. The crime is a city problem,” Baker said. “It’s all over St. Louis; places that have the volume of people that we do are targeted.”
The tweets showed screenshots from surveillance video that Baker said show a group of people in the parking lot trying to defend themselves against a man with a gun.
“There’s a lack of police officers, there’s a lack of security. We have secondary security every night that we’re open, but these parking lots do not have that,” Baker said.
The club doesn’t own the parking lot, but they do use it for customers, as well as City Museum and hotel customers. During the day, there are a lot of people keeping an eye out, but at night, it’s easier for criminals to target people.
“With the rate of crime, for sure, there should be more security here, maybe a combination of public and private,” said John Dongoin, a parking lot customer.
The Citizens for a Greater Downtown St. Louis released the following statement:
For years, we have had concerns with 3 a.m. venues that have generally been a source of disorder and quality of life issues in our neighborhood. Acts of violence from patrons of any establishment will not be tolerated. The latest incident involving customers of club Europe is just another example of the problems caused by late-night venues.
“No one has yet to come up with a solution, so let’s work together and bring the city together,” Baker said. “Stop dividing and find a way to move forward.”