Skyzoo Gets Additional Penalty After Female Patron Wrecks On Freeway; Man Found Outside Bar With 286 Bottles Of Alcohol In His Car

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Chattanooga Police noticed that multiple incidents that took place between October and December 2017, all led back to Skyzoo, 5709 Lee Highway. Owner of the bar Leonard Dacoregio appeared before the Chattanooga Beer Board on Jan. 4 and March 15 at hearings for five cases of selling beer to an incapacitated customer and another for failing to properly report a fight or disorder. At the Thursday meeting, a seventh violation was heard before the beer board for an incident that happened Nov.

5, 2017.


While on patrol, Officer Benjamin Piazza and partner were dispatched to the scene of a car wreck at the intersection of Highway I-75 and I-24, approximately three miles from Skyzoo, where the car had attempted to cut across a median and had gone 45 feet off the road into a culvert where it flipped over. The driver exited the vehicle by crawling out the broken back window. She was recognized as having been at Skyzoo that evening. When questioned, the driver told the officers that she was drunk and had been drinking at Skyzoo. A breath test that was taken two hours later registered 1.58 - almost twice the drunk level.


“How did this person leave?” asked board member Christopher Keene, “Where was the doorman?” Mr. Dacoregio told the beer board that the driver had a fight with her boyfriend that night and that he had driven her home at about 1:30 a.m. because she did not have a car. He said he did not know what she was doing between then and when the wreck occurred, but said that she could have been drinking at a convenience store near the bar.


This violation received the penalty of a two-day suspension of the beer license starting on April 19 or an option of a $1,500 fine. The bar’s beer permit was suspended for 18 days for the other violations that occurred from October to December.


Every time an undercover buyer was at H B Lounge, 2716 Dodson Ave. #D, so was Anthony Woodall. The undercover agent was able to buy liquor each of those times from Mr. Woodall, who was selling it from his car that was parked just outside the door. Inside the car, 286 bottles of alcohol were found. During bar checks, police look behind the bar for alcohol, but not outside in cars, said Chattanooga Police Officer John Collins. This bar does not have an ABC license. The police concluded Woodall was an employee of H B Lounge. Several guns were also found inside on people with no gun permits.


Keveon Kennebrew, owner of H B Lounge, said that he knew that Woodall makes his living by going to a lot of clubs in Chattanooga and selling alcohol. He told the board that he is not an employee of his bar, and he said that night no alcohol was found inside his building.  The gun carriers came inside when they saw the cops, he said and a gun that he bought for protection had just not been registered yet. Christopher Keene made a motion and the board voted to issue a written warning.


Four convenience stores were at the beer board meeting facing charges of selling beer to a minor on March 12 and March 16. All were caught in undercover compliance checks done by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Hamilton County Coalition. Mapco Mart #3660, 6120 Highway 58 where the manager of the store made the illegal sale after looking at the buyer’s ID, was one of the businesses that sold beer to an undercover, underage buyer. The employee was terminated the following day for the mistake. This store is in the Responsible Vendor program, which gives a business a little leeway since a suspension or revocation of the license is not allowed. The fine of $1,000 was imposed.


A clerk at Mapco, 3709 Cummings Highway, also sold a beer to an undercover 20-year-old buyer on March 16. The clerk said he looked at the year but not the date on the ID. As a Responsible Vendor, the maximum penalty allowed is $1,000, which the store was given.


The district manager for this location told the board that Mapco Express, Inc. is purchasing a $13 million Point-of-Sales system that will not allow any sale of alcohol without a scan of the ID in order to correct the problem of underage sales of beer.


On March 12, 36 different stores were tested with a compliance check. That day five businesses sold beer to a minor. Smoke Stack, 4729 Highway 58, was one of the stores caught in the sting operation by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department. The sales clerk asked to see an ID but sold beer despite the ID showing that the buyer was underage. The clerk was terminated and this convenience store was given the choice between having its beer permit suspended for three days starting on April 12 or a $750 fine.


Winter’s Companies Inc., 1700 E 23rd St., also was caught selling beer to an undercover, underage customer on March 12 when the clerk over-rode the cash register warning. The charge was uncontested by the owner of the business Jim Winters, who said that beer sales are less than $1,000 a week and that selling gas is the focus of his business. This business was given the choice of a three-day suspension of the beer license or a $250 fine.


Fast Stop, 2285 Wilcox Blvd., a gas and convenience store, received a new beer license due to an ownership change.


Two special events beer permits were given at the beer board meeting. The second annual Spring in the Park will be held at the Sculpture Field, 1800 Polk St., on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. That night a 30-foot wooden sculpture will be burned.


Hutton & Smith Brewing Co., 3108 Riverside Drive will have a third anniversary party on June 223 from 12 p.m.-12 a.m.


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