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Lava Lounge Manager Arrested on Weapons Charges

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PATERSON, NJ – Police arrested the manager of the Lava Lounge early Saturday morning, charging him with weapons offenses and issued him summonses for operating the night club unlawfully, said Capt. Troy Oswald.

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The manager, Raid Abuhadbeh, 26, of Main Street, was charged with possession of two handguns and an illegal stun gun, Oswald said. He also was issued summonses for allowing hookah smoking inside the club and for allowing the consumption of hard alcohol. Under the Lava Lounge’s license, patron may bring beer and wine to the club, but not liquor, Oswald said.

The arrest was made by Sgt. Thomas Trommelyn, who Oswald said was the club for a health inspection.

The club, at 69 Montclair Avenue I n the 6th Ward, was been the target of more than 100 resident complaints to city police during 2011, records show. Its license is up for renewal, which is scheduled for a vote by the city council Tuesday night.

One of the club’s owners declined to comment Saturday morning. In the past, the owners have argued their business has been targeted for selective enforcement, which they says stems from 6th Ward Councilman Andre Sayegh’s campaign against the club.

As a result of the midnight inspection, the club was shut down for the rest of the night, but will be allowed to reopen on Saturday night, Oswald said.

 The club’s license actually expired on December 1. About a dozen residents attended a Dec. 13 city council meeting, when the license renewal was on the agenda, to complain about noise, fights, litter and other problems they say the Lava Lounge has brought to their neighborhood.

The council postponed its decision on the license until January 10, to allow the club’s attorney time to review municipal enforcement records on the Lava Lounge.

In October, the club’s owners were arrested during another inspection.

For the past year, the city's health division has been cracking down on The Lava Lounge and other city businesses that provide hookah smoking as part of its enforcement of the state's ban on smoking in public places like bars and restaurants.

 

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