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Midtown bar declared public nuisance due to ongoing violence, drug activity

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Posted at 3:36 AM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 08:17:34-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville police raided a Midtown bar early Wednesday morning, during which time it was declared a public nuisance and the doors were padlocked.

According to police, Ultra Lounge on Church Street was raided because of ongoing violence and drug activity. The bar had other names in the past, including Medusa Hookah Bar and Lounge and Indian Queen Lounge and Bar.

A judge declared the business a public nuisance and a padlocking order was executed.

"The police department's responses to this business have been numerous, not just the past few weeks but a period of years. But ultimately we come to the premise that enough is enough," said Metro Nashville Police Dept. spokesman, Don Aaron.

When officers raided the business at about 3 a.m. Wednesday, they said the business was about to close for the night. Aaron said one man ran into the women's restroom and destroyed two cell phones before officers could arrest him. Officers also said they found a small amount of marijuana packaged in a restaurant-style plastic cup.

The state liquor board was involved in the 24-month investigation. Metro Police provided a list of incidents at the establishment that date back to 2015. There were 84 calls to the business in total that range from noise complaints to two homicides.

The last one was one week ago. Metro Police were called to the lounge to respond to a fight. As officers got there, they said a man pulled out an AK-47 and fired several gunshots into the air. No one was hurt, but the gunman and others drove away and a pursuit began. In the end, three men were taken into custody on Murfreesboro Road.

Officers said the owner, Anthony Powell, is wanted on a felony weapons charge. According to Metro Police, he is a convicted felon.

During a previous investigation, police said he related to officers that he had a firearm in the desk of his business that was his. There is now a warrant out for his arrest on a charge of possessing a firearm while a convicted felon. Powell was not at the business at the time of the raid, and police believe he may be out of state.

Powell is also expected to be served with paperwork regarding Wednesday's padlocking. He and the owners of the land on which the business sits will be required to go before Judge Dozier about the padlocking order on March 6.

"The owners know of all the police responses. The owners have heard from area businesses that they want the place to clean up its act," Aaron said. "That's not happened. So we're at the extreme now of letting the courts decide what the next steps will be."