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Continued: Drugs, brawls and murder land Champions bar in trouble with city

  • Article by: MAYA RAO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 22, 2014 - 7:37 AM

In a federal lawsuit filed in December that year, Nelson alleged that Clark set up the sting to retaliate against him for complaining about crime at the bus stop near the bar, and said that he defamed Champions during media interviews. That suit has been put on hold until the administrative case is resolved.

Champions has also claimed that the prohibition on off-duty cops has made problems worse.

Customers have left the bar with myriad injuries in the last several years. One customer was jumped by five women in the parking lot, another needed five stitches after an assailant bashed him in the head, and a belligerent customer lay unconscious with blood flowing from his ears after a security guard defended himself against the man.

In December 2012, Darnell Harris was shot to death by three men outside the bar. And last August, customer Ron Powell pulled a gun on a man who was hitting him while the bar was packed for a birthday party and killed an innocent bystander, Mark Stephenson.

According to the judge’s report, Powell set off a metal detector when he walked into Champions that night but was waved through after security patted him down and saw he had a prosthetic leg with metal parts. Nelson believed the man hid the gun in the prosthetic limb.


Maya Rao • 612-673-4210


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    What: The Community Development and Regulatory Services Committee license hearing

    When: Tuesday, 1:30 p.m.

    Where: Council Chambers, Room 317

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