Strip club closes its doors following firefighter's deathPosted: Updated:
The strip club at the center of the investigation into the beating and death of an off-duty firefighter appears to have closed its doors, at least for now.
On Tuesday, the head of the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control issued an emergency suspension of Centerfolds Cabaret liquor license. On Wednesday, the doors of the club, located at 20th and Peoria avenues, were locked and no one was around.
The director essentially utilized an aspect of Arizona law that provides him the opportunity to issue an emergency action against the liquor license for this particular business,” said Jeffrey Trillo, Asst. Director of the state agency.
According to Trillo, the move by Director John Cocca is rare. While he did not know when the last time a liquor license was suspended prior to an investigation and hearing as part of punishment, he did say it is highly irregular and that one would have to go back years to find the last time it occurred.
In a statement, Director Cocca said that “the public health, safety and welfare imperatively require emergency action.”
On January 21, customer and off-duty Daisy Mountain firefighter Luke Jones died after repeated strikes to the head by club bouncer Brandon Draper. Draper was arrested for second-degree murder.
[ORIGINAL STORY: Daisy Mountain firefighter killed in off-duty fight]
“Just as alarming, if not more alarming, you had a member of management taking steps to try and confuse or delay or hinder the investigation by the Phoenix Police Department,” said Trillo.
Centerfold’s manager, Timothy Piegari, was also arrested for tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution. Investigators said he initially denied knowledge of the incident and told police the club’s surveillance cameras were not working the night of the incident. It was later revealed, Piegari disconnected the system after the assault.
The club can operate, but it cannot serve alcohol. Attempts to reach the owner were unsuccessful.