GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Four people associated with the Blind Tiger were charged on Friday, and the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission suspended the ABC permits for the venue, according to a North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement news release.
The owner, Bradford McCauley, 47, of Winston-Salem, was charged with failing to superintend and hiring unlicensed armed security.
The manager, Donald Beck Jr., 55, of Greensboro, was charged with allowing violations to occur on the ABC-licensed premises and hiring unlicensed armed security.
Jason Leonard, 28, and Anthony Delaney, 28, of Greensboro, were both charged with providing unlicensed armed security and allowing violations to occur on the ABC-licensed premises.
The ABC Commission says the permit suspension came after ABC officials reviewed affidavits submitted by NC ALE special agents and officers of the Greensboro Police Department.
The summary suspension is immediate and in effect until the case is heard by the Office of Administrative Hearings, the NC ABC Commission says.
The Blind Tiger has held permanent ABC permits since Aug. 25, 2017.
The action is authorized under N.C. General Statute 150B-3(c), which states: “The proceedings shall be promptly commenced and determined.”
This is the first summary suspension issued this year by the NC ABC Commission.
“Working with local law enforcement agencies to address violence at ABC permitted businesses are a priority for ALE special agents.,” said Director of NC ALE Bryan House. “We hope the action taken in this case will prevent similar actions from occurring at this location in the future.”
On Sunday, July 31, officers came to the Blind Tiger when they were told about a shooting in the area, according to the GPD.
Once they arrived, police found Pedro Alegria, 19, suffering from a gunshot wound. Medical assistance was provided, however, Alegria died of his injuries at the scene.
ALE special agents determined there was a fight, which started inside the licensed establishment and continued outside in the parking lot before an armed security employee shot one of the patrons.
The ALE investigation revealed the security employee was not licensed through the North Carolina Private Protective Services Board.
On Sunday afternoon, GPD announced that Leonard is being charged with second-degree murder in connection to the shooting. The Blind Tiger said Leonard worked for a third-party contractor providing security as a bouncer at the venue.
The police department say they did not find a gun on Alegria.
During a hearing in court on Monday, Leonard’s attorney said, “This is a good man, a bad situation,” adding that the shooting happened during a situation described as an open melee.
Leonard’s bond was reduced from $150,000 to $75,000 secured, and Leonard cannot go on the premises of The Blind Tiger. If convicted, Leonard could face life without parole.
The Blind Tiger’s attorney issued the following statement to FOX8 denying that the business’s “actions or inactions” lead to Alegria’s death:
“The Blind Tiger is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of a young man’s life outside of the Blind Tiger building. This young man’s death was not caused by any actions or inactions of the Blind Tiger and could have happened anywhere. There are many reasons for the increase in violent crime in our City, especially the lack of support for our police department and the dwindling numbers of officers.”
Mayor Nancy Vaughan also relased a statement to FOX8 when asked about the allegations made against The Blind Tiger:
“In my opinion, after reading the affidavits from Greensboro Police and ALE officers, it appears that the Blind Tiger had a complete disregard for public safety and best practices. I am confident that the investigation will be thorough. It is important that people know that their safety is valued and prioritized over profits.”