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Flint store owner hires private security while city tries to get state to take away its liquor license

Flint-Saginaw-Bay City WJRT logo Flint-Saginaw-Bay City WJRT 9/28/2021 Michael Nafso
Cheers Market © Provided by Flint-Saginaw-Bay City WJRT Cheers Market

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (09/27/2021) - People living walking distance from Cheers Market in Flint call it “chaos.”

“The parking lot is always full. At night, it’s crazy. People are everywhere, and the owners don’t care. They just let them hang out there right when you come in the door,” Wendy Wheat said.

Wheat says she stays away because it’s a popular spot where large crowds gather.

After repeated calls for police to head to Cheers Market for disturbances and crime, the city is taking a stand and asking City Council to label it a public nuisance and hoping the state will take away its liquor license.

ABC12 went over to Cheers Market on Monday evening and noticed an armed security guard standing outside. We asked the store owner about it, and he says he’s been doing that for the past four or five days as one way to show others he’s willing to do his part in making the community feel safe.

The store owner, Jeevanjot Ghotra, says when he calls police, they either don’t answer or show up several hours later.

He wanted to keep his face off camera because when he tried to take matter into his own hands, it was violent.

“I got jumped. I got beat up once because I was telling them not to sell the drugs, so I’m scared,” Ghotra said.

Mayor Sheldon Neeley says the police department tried to partner with the owner to take part in the intel center with surveillance but got nowhere. Ghotra says he’s worked with police in the past but claims he hasn’t heard from this administration.

“I didn’t never see Neeley Mayor or police or any councilman. I didn’t meet nobody. Nobody approaches me. Nobody comes and tells me all these problems,” Ghotra said.

Now, the city of Flint is asking Flint City Council to declare the business as a public nuisance and ask the state to take away its liquor license.

Ghotra says he’s willing to work with the city and even hired private security for now to keep the crowds under control.

One neighbor says, “It’s quiet down now, but it was real bad for a while.”

When asked how long “now” has been, he said within the last week.

“It is expensive. I can’t really afford that, but I’m doing it for the community. If it makes them feel safer, yeah I’ll do it,” Ghotra said.

The meeting was still ongoing at the 11 o’clock hour on Monday night, and the resolution had not come up.

Stick with ABC12 News for updates on the solution.

Copyright 2021 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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