From staff reports
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Police made 17 arrests during a disturbance early Sunday morning at an unlicensed club in downtown Joplin.
Cpl. Chuck Niess of the Joplin Police Department said several fights erupted between 2 and 3 a.m. among a crowd of about 200 teenagers and young adults attending the unlicensed club The Surge at 1202 S. Wall Ave. He said fights were taking place both inside and outside the vacant brick building where the club has been operating on Saturday nights in recent months.
No injuries requiring medical treatment were reported, Niess said. But officers made arrests on a range of misdemeanor offenses, including obstruction, peace disturbance, underage possession of alcohol and possession of marijuana, he said.
Jeremy Latham, 26, of Joplin, was arrested on a charge of operating a business without a license.
Niess said the club has become a growing problem on weekends. Because it has no liquor license and patrons bring their own alcohol, officers need probable cause or the owner’s consent to enter the building.
Latham is not the owner but is suspected of being the person in charge of operations there this past weekend. Niess said Latham was arrested because officers developed information that a cover charge was being collected from patrons.