Bowling alley owner pushes back after Beech Grove Mayor blames business for recent violence
Beech Grove mayor targets “nuisance” businesses
BEECH GROVE, Ind. (WISH) — The mayor of Beech Grove is going after businesses that he deems a “nuisance” after a string of recent shootings in the city.
Beech Grove Bowl is one of the businesses Mayor Dennis Buckley is accusing of being a nuisance because of a shooting in the parking lot over Labor Day weekend.
Beech Grove Bowl is the oldest bowling alley in the state. They’ve been open 24 hours a day for 27 years, so it’s not unusual for them to have a parking lot full of cars past 2 a.m. on a Sunday.
But on Sept. 3, Beech Grove Bowl owner Scott Seach said two people got into an argument outside of his business and shot at each other.
Security camera video from a nearby business shows cars speeding out of the parking lot after the shooting.
“There’s nothing that we could have done that would have prevented people (from) being stupid, arguing, and then opening fire against each other. I don’t know how we were supposed to prevent that from happening,” Seach said.
“I understand their position, I get it, but my position is that this happened on your property. You are the business owner and you have a responsibility to maintain the peace at your establishment,” Mayor Dennis Buckley said.
Buckley says the shooting outside Beech Grove Bowl was just the latest in a string of shootings and violence associated with several businesses in Beech Grove.
“It’s very disturbing, and as far as I’m concerned, that is unacceptable for our city,” said Buckley.
One of Buckley’s tactics to put a stop to the violence is encouraging the state liquor board to pull a business’s liquor license if there is an established pattern of violence.
“What good comes out of serving liquor at three in the morning? Nothing, so what are we doing here?” said Buckley.
Rick Skirvin is running for mayor of Beech Grove. He says the focus should not be on the businesses but on the people committing the acts of violence.
“Beech Grove is in a very unique situation. We’re landlocked. We’re minimized by how much business we can have and to go after businesses instead of focusing on the actual problem, which is the people that are committing these crimes; you know, we want to bring businesses to Beech Grove. We don’t want to work against them, or make them feel unwanted,” said Skirvin.
“If the mayor keeps attacking these businesses we’re just going to fold up and go somewhere else,” said Seach.
Mayor Buckley told I-Team 8 he’s not just focusing on the businesses in this situation. He’s also encouraged Beech Grove Police to go after bad actors who are committing violence in the city.