Letter from Richmond County Sheriff's Office brings new rules, mixed reactions

By  | 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Richmond County Sheriff's Office send a letter to late-night bars on Broad Street, and it's caused mixed reactions from bar managers and customers.

The letter comes after the attack on 24-year-old Brittany Stevens was attacked outside of "The Scene" nightclub earlier this month. It requires bar owners to come up with a plan if there is any kind of incident, like a person who is too drunk or a fight.

"It sounds like it's coming from a pretty good place," said Tyler Tolbert, an AU dental student.

The letter goes as far as saying if a fight breaks out, bar security is responsible for getting the instigators off the premises, even if that means escorting them to their cars. Managers aren't happy about that, and customers have mixed opinions too.

"I think that's horrible," said Macarius Abdelsayed. "It takes away an individual's personal responsibility to take care of themselves."
Meg Carlton thinks it's a great idea.

"I think it's good to take care of people, keep people safe, so I don't see why it would hurt anything," she said.

Some managers see it as unnecessary. They say violence is rare, and not all bars need the extra responsibility. They asked to remain anonymous as to not misrepresent their respective businesses.
One thing the customers can all agree on is safety is the most important thing.

"It should be important to take care of your customers and keep them safe," Carlton said.

"If it can be done in a reasonable way and it doesn't put too much liability on business owners, I think it's a reasonable proposal for trying to increase the safety for patrons," Tolbert said.

The sheriff's office wasn't available to comment, but their goal was clearly stated in the last paragraph of the letter. It says by working together, the sheriff's office and the bars can make downtown Augusta a safe and secure area for everyone.

Copyright 2019 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved