According to City Attorney Zach Klein’s office, the Dollhouse on Carl Court Street has been the scene of violent crimes, shootings and other illegal activity.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein has filed a lawsuit to declare a dollhouse in northeast Columbus a nuisance.
The lawsuit relates to a series of shootings, violent crimes and other illegal activity at the strip club, including fatally in January.
In addition, Klein says the city of Columbus is urging the court to shut down The Dollhouse for the foreseeable future until the club’s owners can demonstrate they have been able to address safety and security concerns. A strip club could be shut down for a year if the owners don’t comply.
Klein says that in recent years, the Dollhouse has seen a flurry of crimes both inside and outside the club, from violence and drug use to prostitution and other illegal activities. The clubhouse is a few blocks from residences, local businesses and a church.
“The level of violence and criminal behavior in this business is unacceptable, and while the owners have said they want to step up to make changes, this lawsuit allows the city to step in as necessary to hold the owners accountable,” he said. “The city must see a real commitment to significantly improve safety and security and will not hesitate to take appropriate legal action if these benchmarks are not met.”
Since January 2021, Columbus police have taken 51 reports of incidents at the premises, including multiple shootings, murders, robberies, assaults, overdoses and car thefts, according to court documents. Emergency personnel also responded to about 180 calls for service at the club, including fights, shootings, sex crimes, overdoses, thefts and stabbings.
On January 29, a shooting at a strip club killed Charles Smith and injured three others. Police identified 21-year-old Travis Ingram Jr. as a suspect in the shooting and charged him with murder and aggravated assault.
RELATED: Police have identified a 21-year-old suspect in a shooting at a Columbus strip club over the weekend
Klein’s office says city officials found there were significant violations of the club’s safety and security protocols in the incident. The suspect in the shooting was able to enter the club without being searched.
The city also found that the metal detector at the front door was not in use and the ID scanner was missing. Only two of the six security guards work at the Dollhouse Club.
In addition, Klein singled out the following incidents that took place in a strip club:
- In March 2021, traffic police officers were dispatched to the premises following a report of a shooting.
- In May 2021, CPD and CFD responded to the overdose and administered NARCAN to the man.
- In September 2021, CPD was dispatched to the premises several times, including reports of a shooting, reports of a weapon on the premises, an assault and a robbery.
- In December 2021, CPD responded to an indoor stabbing, was dispatched to Grant Hospital for a report of an indoor shooting, and responded to multiple assaults at a club.
- In 2022, CPD responded to numerous assaults, overdoses and fights, including an incident in September 2022 where five victims were shot.
In late December, the Columbus City Council voted to deny the renewal of Doll House’s liquor license. The Ohio Board of Liquor Control is scheduled to hold hearings on the license in the coming months.