Police concerned about recent activity at Stefano's on the Market

Club manager shares story of what happened outside Stefano's On the Market (Image 1)
Club manager shares story of what happened outside Stefano's On the Market (Image 1) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Law enforcement said concern is growing over recent reports in the area of Stefano's On the Market in downtown Roanoke.

"When there's that repeat thing, there obviously something wrong," Dave Trinkle of Roanoke City Council said. "The crowd you're drawing is wrong or how you're doing it is wrong."

Trinkle said, as a downtown business owner, =seeing angry, violent crowds gather, as they did over the weekend, is troubling. Early Saturday morning, police say 50 people left Stefano's. They were fighting and an officer was forced to shoot when 26-year-old Malik Roman raised a handgun at them.

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Incidents that Deputy Chief Tim Jones said happen often at the location.

"The travesty is, we continue to respond to the same place for the same issues," Jones said.

Since 2012, Roanoke City Police responded to nearly 3,000 calls on the same block as Stefano's with several hundred of them directly connected to the establishment. A majority of the offenses include drunkenness, simple assault, and disorderly conduct.

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has investigated the business numerous times. Chief Jones said it's unfortunate the business is still up and running.

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"There seems to be the ability to operate in between the lines and unfortunately there are no ABC sanctions or criminal code sanctions at this particular time to hold a business owner accountable, " Jones explained.

Meanwhile, video provided by owner Stephen Rosenoff  shows activity in and outside of the club on the night of the most recent incident. He said people were having a good time and he didn't see what police say happened.

"There was no altercation at the bar," Rosenoff said. "Everybody was calm. There was no pushing. There was never a crowd leaving. The people that left were happy and orderly and there was no sign of a disturbance."

According to Rosenoff, a corporation manages the club portion of Stefano's and the restaurant is separate. But Rosenoff said he is the sole owner of the corporation.