There has been another shooting outside of the infamous strip club, Sue’s Rendezvous
MOUNT VERNON — A 20 year-old man from the Bronx was shot in the leg while leaving Sue’s Rendezvous (referred to as ‘the best shake joint in the country’ by Bruce M of Brooklyn on Yelp) located at 96 Gramatan Avenue, shortly after 3am Monday morning. The victim, who has not yet been identified, was taken to an area hospital where he underwent and is recovering from surgery, police confirmed.
While there still are very little details yet, Detectives believe the suspect may have been walking near the intersection of East Sydney and North Third Avenues. A motive has yet to be established by detectives investigating the case. Mount Vernon Police are asking anyone with information regarding Monday’s shooting outside the strip club to contact the Detective Division at 914-665-2510.
A few months ago there was another shooting that stemmed from a fight that started inside the strip club and spilled outside. It is still unclear if one of the individuals in the fight either had a gun on him while in Sue’s or ran to his car and came back shooting. Either way despite being warned earlier in the evening something like this might happen, the MVPD was caught off-guard.
There have been 664 calls to MVPD from 2007-2010 from everything from petty and grand larceny, simple assault, fight-disturbance, DWI’s etc, according to the Zoning Board of Appeals who had requested the information from MVPD on incidents/arrest in the vicinity of Sue’s who had a pending application for renovation in Oct 2010.
The adult entertainment establishment had previously been grandfathered in, but a full gut rehab renovation that took place well over a year ago, would have made the property comply with current New York State building codes which includes but is not limited to a required sprinkler system. According to the complaint sent to the Department of State Division of Building Standards and Code Enforcement by Mount Vernon residents, which BW obtain a copy of, that claims Sue’s is now operating illegally
There are questionable actions surrounding the issuance of this building permit. In 2010, The Mount Vernon City Council filed an Article 78 in New York State Supreme Court challenging the Mount Vernon Zoning Board Appeals decision to grant Sue’s Rendezvous aka Veronica Realty to expand it’s non conforming use. The courts decided in favor of the Mount Vernon City Council and against Veronica Realty, aka Sue’s Rendezvous.
The complaint goes on to say;
For reasons unknown, Mount Vernon Building Commissioner Mark Warren issued a building permit for Sue’s Rendezvous aka Veronica Realty at the urging of Mayor Ernie Davis, who is on probation for two counts of tax evasion. The proprietors of Sue’s Rendezvous have made generous donations to Mayor Davis over the years and Mayor Davis uses another facility, the Surf Club located in New Rochelle, owned by the same proprietors. Mayor Davis held several fundraisers there and even had his inaugural ball and introduced the proprietor of Sue’s Rendezvous as a generous campaign supporter and “businessman of the year”.
The alleged violations listed in the complaint are as follows:
* A building permit should have never been issued to Sue’s Rendezvous to renovate and expand in its current state. Not only was a full rehab done, Sue’s Rendezvous expanded its floor area ratio which is in violation of local zoning ordinances. Commissioner Mark Warren was made aware of the by his building department and as a result the inspector refused to sign off on the Certificate of Occupancy/Tenancy.
* Even through Sue’s Rendezvous expand illegally and should have never been issued a building permit to expand, a sprinkler system is required by NYS building code.
* Sue’s Rendezvous was classified on the Certificate of Occupancy as “Assembly Group 2”
A backflow prevention device is not present at this location as required by New York State and Westchester County Department of Health law. According to a temporary Certificate of Occupancy 12991-12 dated December 11, 2012 signed by Mark Warren, a condition that was required so that a permanent Certificate of Occupancy can be issued was a sign off by the Mount Vernon Water Department. The sign off from the water department would have indicated that an approved backflow prevention device was installed at the location.
On January 28, 2013 Commissioner Mark Warren issued a final Certificate of Occupancy for Sue’s that superseded the temporary Certificate of Occupancy issued of December 11, 2012. The condition of water department sign off has still not been met.
The Certificate of Occupancy/Tenancy must be signed off on by certain key personnel in the City of Mount Vernon. The building inspector, plumbing superintendent, and the water department did not sign off on the Certificate of Occupancy even through Mark Warren issued Sue’s Rendezvous a final and superseding Certificate of Occupancy. Joe Pemberton the lone signer for the Mount Vernon Department of Public works. Pemberton is not a licensed Civil Engineer making him eligible to sign off.
Many residents have complained about the Sue’s promotional van. One in particular Raquel M. Bennett of Mount Vernon after several attempts to contact Mayor Davis and the City Council to no avail, decided to take her concerns to social media and the press including writing in the review section on Yelp;
“This is not the first time that I have written to the City without results about the Sue’s Rendezvous van,” writes Bennett. “The Sue’s Rendezvous van, featuring scantily clad women to advertise the strip club, is regularly parked on East Third Street and in the surrounding neighborhood. None of our neighboring communities have strip clubs or other forms of adult entertainment advertised in front of homes, around impressionable children, and within blocks from a school.”
What was most troubling in this matter is with all the complaints by residents and police calls to the adult entertainment establishment, in a city with allegedly over 450 houses of worship, there hasn’t been any push back or public protest from any of the cities clergy.
The Department Of State while acknowledging the have received the complaint would not comment on if there was a pending investigation or even if there were going to investigate. Commissioner Mark Warren did not return our calls before we went to press. So BW will be following up with all parties involved as this situation unfolds.
BW has put in a Freedom of Information Law (F.O.I.L.) Request for the amount of reports have been sent to the NY State Liquor Authorities (SLA) after many shooting incidences surrounding Sues. Many Black own business in Mount Vernon’s south side have complained about reports made to the SLA for incidences less dangerous than shootings. Is City Hall protecting the owner of sues because of his political contributions to the Mayor? Stay tuned!
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.