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Another beleaguered tavern up for beer permit

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By Damon Lawrence

The Roane County Beer Board will not consider a permit for the Grill & Pub on Tuesday, but another spot that is well known to law enforcement is on the agenda.  
Joyce Fulsom is seeking a beer permit for Claudia’s Bar on Roane State Hwy.
Beer board secretary Bobbie Tipton said the previous permit holder, Claudia Norman, passed away last month.
Fulsom plans to operate as D&J’s.     
“The establishment is safe,” Fulsom said.
E-911 dispatch records for the establishment date back to 2001.
The calls run the gamut from assaults, fights, thefts, reckless driving and drugs.  
“There was a fight, put them outside,” dispatcher comments from a June 2, 2013, call said.  
“White-looking drug, not sure if it’s cocaine or meth or what,” comments from a July 28, 2012 call said.
Comments from a July 22, 2012, call said a female patron was “sitting at bar drunk showing her butt,” while on Oct. 15, 2011, a call described a male patron as “drunk in the parking lot ... he has punched another man.”
“Caller was assaulted at Claudia’s,” comments from a June 13, 2010 call said.  
The entire E-911 report on the establishment was 44 pages long.
Fulsom declined to discuss the report.
“I’m not going to make no comments in the paper and stuff like that,” she said. “Not right now.”
According to Roane County Sheriff’s Office records, the bar was the site of several arrests on Dec. 30, 2012.
The charges included public intoxication, resisting arrest and vandalism.
Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy Billy Walker was dispatched to the bar in reference to a disorderly person. According to the report, Lois Pope was outside the bar yelling and cursing at another woman when Walker arrived.
“The owner of the bar, Claudia Norman, stated the offender was drinking vodka and was trying to fight people in the bar,” the report said. “Ms. Norman stated when she asked the offender to leave, she started yelling and cursing at everyone.”
Pope was arrested for public intoxication.
Sheriff’s Deputy Vianney Del Toro responded to a report of vandalism at the bar.
“On arrival, I observed several people outside the bar,” he wrote about the incident. “These subjects were advised to either leave the premises or return to the bar.”
The report said Pamela Parks was warned three times.
“After the third warning, Parks was taken into custody,” the report said.
“Parks had an extremely strong smell of alcohol on or around her person, was unsteady on her feet and had slurred speech.”
Parks was charged with public intoxication.
Walker said he was passing the bar around 2:40 a.m. when he noticed a man in a camouflage jacket attempting to break the window to an SUV with a rock.
“When I stopped and pulled in the parking lot, the male looked at me and ran toward the bar,” the report said. “The male ran in the front door of the bar and out the back door.”
The man was identified as Kenneth W. Houdek. Walker caught up with him behind the building.
“The vehicle a 1998 Honda Passport ... had fresh marks and rock dust on the window and dents in the door,” the report said. “I also found the rock on the ground next to the vehicle.”
The report said the vehicle belonged to Pope, who had been arrested at the bar a few hours earlier.
“Mr. Houdek told officers that Ms. Pope had gave him a ride to the bar and some of his belongings were locked in her vehicle,” the report said. “Several people outside the bar told officers on scene that Mr. Houdek was trying to bust the window to get his belongings.”
Houdek was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and vandalism.
The beer board revoked the Grill & Pub’s beer permit for a year in February. The bar’s troubled history was one of the reasons cited for the revocation.