Around 2 a.m. on Sat. June 23, 2012, a police dog detected something inside a silver Chevy Camaro parked outside the Plan B nightclub in West Ashley. A police officer tried to question the driver as he approached the vehicle, but the man ignored him, got in the car, and stomped on the gas pedal.
After nearly running over the officer and several people who were standing in front of the club, the driver circled the parking lot and accelerated toward the officer again. The cop pulled his pistol and leveled it at the approaching Camaro, but to no avail. At the last second, the officer dodged the vehicle, which swerved out onto Savannah Highway before colliding with a parked car. The driver got out and tried to run, but police caught him and searched his vehicle, where they found a loaded Glock handgun — but no drugs.
In all, Charleston police have filed 45 incident reports at Plan B in the past two years, according to documents obtained by the City Paper via a Freedom of Information Act request. Those incidents include 11 drug or narcotics violations, nine instances of drunkenness or disorderly conduct, eight assaults, six property offenses, four weapon law violations, and a bomb threat. On May 12, the owners of the club will shut Plan B's doors for good.
Terry Huggins, an owner and manager of the club, declined to comment on why the club was closing and directed questions to his attorney, David Aylor. "There were some unfortunate incidents that occurred, but one point that's pertinent to point out is that a lot of the incidents were outside in the parking lot as opposed to actually in the club," Aylor says. "The security in the club was well-maintained with SLED-approved security guards." Aylor says the decision to close the club was based on "continuous issues" but also on the management wanting to "go in a different direction moving forward."
While it is true that the majority of the incidents at Plan B occurred around closing time in the parking lot, which the nightclub shares with numerous other businesses in a shopping center on Ashley Town Center Drive, some of them did take place in the club itself. In one instance, on Feb. 15 this year, a private security guard from the club told police that a man was "dancing on a stage with [a] firearm in his hand, waving it around." When police arrested the man, they searched him and found a bag of marijuana, some pills shaped like skulls and cartoon characters, six paper sleeves containing powder ecstasy, four cell phones, and a pocket notebook with names and dollar amounts written inside.
Aylor has represented numerous bars and restaurants before, and he says they tend to have more problems with crime when located in shopping centers than in standalone buildings. "It's no different than if you're down in the [City] Market," Aylor says. "There are not too many arguments and things that occur within the actual bars, but more once people are unloading and leaving them."
The spreadsheet below shows all incidents at Plan B over the last two years.