‘We’re closing it’: Councilmen say Mascaras Gentleman’s Club is public nuisance

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville adult entertainment club with a documented history of problems may soon have its doors closed for good.

“I said, it’s enough. We’re closing it. That’s the best we can do. We’re going to close it,” said Jacksonville councilman Matt Carlucci.

Carlucci and fellow councilman Kevin Carrico have put together legislation to declare Mascaras Gentleman’s Club on Southside Boulevard a public nuisance.

Under that declaration, the strip club would be shut down permanently.

Councilman Carlucci says this place will soon be declared a public nuisance based on criminal grounds.

He says the club has a history of repeated gun violence that’s putting neighbors in danger.

“People parking all over the place. Leaving trash all over the place. But there’s also been some shootings,” Carlucci said.

Most recently -- last weekend when three people were shot outside the club as the place was emptying. One of the people died at the scene. The other two were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Rachael Rich was at home with her children when they heard the gunshots.

“They went off. Stopped. Went off again and woke all of us up,” Rich said.

Another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said he’s often complained to the city about hearing gunshots outside the club.

“We often wake up to gunshots going off at 3 and 4 a.m.,” he said.

Hours after last weekend’s fatal shooting, he said he made a shocking discovery in his front yard.

“We were walking back in the driveway and right in the front yard was a bloody Glock pistol,” he said.

He took a picture of the gun before police collected it for evidence. Other neighbors say they saw someone shooting towards Mascaras while running away, he added.

“There’s children that live across the street from this place. And you know stray bullets have ways of finding little targets,” Carlucci said.

Nine years ago, a 29-year-old man was shot and killed inside the club. The following year, a 21-year old man was shot and killed. Back then, police say they responded to the club eight times between 2010 and 2013 to investigate gunfire.

“It needs to be shut down and me and Kevin Carrico are going to do our best to shut it down,” Carlucci said.

The owner of the club did not wish to be interviewed. He said he was shocked to learn city leaders wanted to close the business down. He also said last weekend’s shooting had nothing to do with his business.

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