Tarrant County – In a sweeping action against public disorder and violence, Tarrant County authorities have launched proceedings to rescind the sexually oriented business permit of a local strip club, a move that could culminate in its permanent closure. This decisive step has been prompted by yet another tumultuous weekend that has left a tragic tally of one fatality and three individuals seriously wounded.
The Tarrant County Sheriff’s office reveals that the unfortunate incident unfolded in the wee hours of Sunday, around 3:15 am at the notorious strip club, Temptations. A patron, ousted from the establishment following a dispute, initiated a violent shooting spree outside the premises, causing injuries to three bystanders in the parking lot. In an attempt to neutralize the threat, a security guard retaliated, fatally injuring the aggressive customer.
The establishment’s proximity to residential dwellings has stirred a persistent chorus of complaints from the local community, decrying it as a public nuisance. Antonio Jimenez, a law enforcement officer residing less than 200 yards away from the club, joined his voice to the public clamor for the club’s closure. Jimenez, who moved to the neighborhood with his family in 2021, recounts that he had initially underestimated the potential disturbances that the establishment might cause.
Over the last two years, Jimenez testifies, the club has been the epicenter of multiple violent incidents.
“A few shootings ago, we had several of the victims run towards this way. Of course, it’s such a short distance. I’m sure people were just running and frantic, trying to get away from the situation,” he said to NBC 5. “I ended up having to arrest one of the guys who was one of the shooters if I recall right. Of course, that raises a concern. My wife’s freaking out. Children are freaking out.”
Tarrant County Commissioner Manny Ramirez, who represents the area, agrees with people who have expressed concerns.
“This is a dangerous business that creates an unacceptable risk to our community and our law enforcement officers. Quite frankly, this business should have been shut down a decade ago,” said Ramirez.
Eric Langan, the proprietor of the controversial club and a resident of Bellaire, Texas, has received a formal notice from Tarrant County officials. A hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m., June 21 before the Tarrant County Sexually Oriented Business Board. This session aims to establish probable cause for revoking the club’s SOB permit. If the board reaches a consensus on revoking the permit, Langan will be given a 20-day grace period to launch an appeal.
Despite numerous attempts to solicit comments by a host of local online and television stations through various channels including Facebook, phone, and email since the past Thursday, Langan has yet to respond.
The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, in a statement released on Thursday, pointed to the alarming frequency of emergency calls originating from the club as a significant cause for concern. Between 2020 and 2022, over 240 calls for service were registered, 134 of which were placed in 2022 alone. Ranging from homicide to drug possession, these incidents underscore the urgent need to curb criminal activity within the club. In 2022, Fort Worth Police also responded to nearly three dozen calls at the establishment. In 2023, the grim tally rose to a staggering 82 calls, according to Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn.
“It is absolutely a problem. It is a blight on the community. There is always issues going on out there,” Sheriff Waybourn said. “It’s a dangerous area. It attracts danger. It’s BYOB, so we’ve got alcohol there. We’ve got drugs. All of the elements of a recipe that will go bad.”
Tarrant County District Attorney Phil Sorrells has announced that his office will actively participate in the escalating struggle against the tumultuous strip club. A public nuisance lawsuit has been lodged against the property owner, Queen Shiva, LLC, and if the suit garners judicial approval, the closure of the contentious club would be irrevocable.
Portraying the establishment as a “breeding ground for unlawful activities”, the lawsuit exposes its pervasive criminality.
“As District Attorney, I am concerned about the escalation of criminal activities at Temptations Cabaret constituting a nuisance. That is why I filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking injunctive relief to curtail the menace that is Temptations,” Sorrells said. “My number one priority is keeping our community safe. Allowing Temptations to continue its operation is counterintuitive to this goal.”
In his petition, Sorrells paints a damning picture of the notorious club. “Temptations,” he wrote, “has carved a dubious niche for itself in the eyes of the law enforcement community and public consciousness, standing as a sanctuary for unlawful activities. Its clientele is often found in various states of inebriation, engaging in unruly and violent behavior, and participating in the sale or consumption of narcotics.”
Prior to the fatal shooting that transpired on May 28, leaving one assailant dead and three individuals injured, Sorrells outlined a series of violent incidents that plagued the club earlier in the same month. Among these were a double stabbing and several other shootings, including five aggravated assault cases involving deadly weapons. He also referred to a fatal incident from August 2020, when a violent confrontation outside the club left one man dead and another severely injured.