TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – Toledo Police are cracking down on a bar they say has been on their radar for some time. The raid, resulting in nearly three dozen arrests, happened around 1 a.m. Sunday at Big Shots Bar and Grill located on Central Avenue in central Toledo.
Police found marijuana, cocaine and even counterfeit money inside the bar.
"We've had a lot of complaints regarding this particular location. That's why we initiated the investigation," explained Sgt. Joe Heffernan.
The late-night raid followed months of investigation by the Toledo Police Department. The SWAT team carried out a search warrant, busted into the bar and arrested 33 people on outstanding warrants and drug charges.
"Anytime we start to see patterns of activity like that we take it seriously. The last thing we want to do is have people get hurt," said Heffernan.
According to police, the bar has caused problems in the neighborhood in the past, but the bust still took residents living near Big Shots by surprise.
The bar's manager, Suron Jacobs, said he is doing all that he can to keep problem customers away.
"We pat people down. We keep guns out of here. We keep drugs, as much as we can, out of here. We don't condone any of that stuff," said Jacobs.
Jacobs said he has met with city safety officials seeking help, even offering to pay for off-duty police to act as security, but has been rejected. Jacobs said he wants to work with the police, not against them, to keep trouble away.
"With a little bit of help it could be prevented, but at the same time, it's almost as if they want to shut you down," said Jacobs. "We would still like to have them on our side and have the right relationship so when something does happen, we can call them and feel as though they can be on our side. Not come here and treat us as if we're supporting everything and we're all criminals here."
City leaders have been keeping a close watch on Big Shots. If problems persist, City Council may ask the State Liquor Control Commission to pull its liquor license.
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730 North Summit Street