GALVEZ, LA (WAFB) - The owner of a teen club says he opened it to help kids who may need mentors and to provide them with a safe environment, but neighbors claim the club is nothing but trouble.
Jesse Townsend and Malcolm Aydell say they've enjoyed the peace and quiet that came with living in an old neighborhood in Galvez, but Stars Entertainment Palace changed everything. The club is located on LA 44. Townsend said he was awakened by gunfire late Saturday night into Sunday morning. Aydell said he woke up at 3 a.m. and saw a ruckus. The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office was called out to the teen club just after midnight Sunday. Detectives reported a teenager fired a gun in the parking lot and left. The scene left neighbors rattled.
"When you're shooting in the parking lot, if you missed him, this house is about the next thing it's going to hit," Townsend explained. "I'm hoping they shut this place down," Aydell stated.
According to a sign out front, Stars Entertainment Palace is supposed to host events such as weddings and parties. The owner of the property, Kevin Boudreaux, claims his tenant deceived him. According to Boudreaux, it's not what its intentions were and at no point in time would he allow this. The lease agreement between Boudreaux and the tenant, Gentry Lewis, states Lewis was opening an afterschool club for kids.
According to Lewis, he sub-leased the building to a couple of girls Saturday night so they could host a pajama party. He said he simply chaperoned the event. Lewis stated he hired and paid for security from the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office. He claimed they backed out on the deal.
"I've called to find out why they canceled my detail and I'm paying for this and nobody has been able to give me an explanation," Lewis said.
According to Sheriff Jeff Wiley, he pulled his deputies from the party when he learned Lewis was arrested on drug and flight charges back in August. Boudreaux added he is working with an attorney to take the steps necessary to close the club.
Three teens ended up in the hospital Sunday morning after a shooting in the parking lot of the club. Ascension Parish sheriff's deputies reported a teen fired a gun, hitting another kid. The suspected gunman drove off, but crashed his car down the road. Later, a second teen crashed and also ended up in the hospital. The shooting is still under investigation.