A Memorial Day weekend party led to four arrests for underage drinking and six overdose calls at a local club, compelling local officials to try to close the establishment.
Police Chief Thomas Boyd confirmed the arrests and overdose calls at Karma, a Seaside Heights club. At least one local official said he plans to recommend that Karma’s liquor license not be renewed.
Karma owner John Saddy told The Asbury Park Press that he blames police for the problems on Saturday at the nightclub because they were aggressively frisking patrons.
“I am running the club the same way it’s been run for the last 15 years,” Saddy said told the publication. “There is nothing different. Only in their minds it’s different. The town is just coming after us. They called in all these cops for a bunch of kids dancing.”
Township Administrator Christopher Vaz told Patch he has no doubt that things got out of control at club Karma on Sunday night, when many were arrested after a melee at the business.
Vaz said Saddy’s claim that police initiated problems is “a lie.”
He knows because he was watching police and Tri-Boro First Aid Squad members trying to cope with problems created by underage drinkers who spilled out into the street from the club at 401 Boulevard.
“I was there and I was watching the building,” Vaz told Patch. “You had many coming out of the place drunk.”
The borough went to court earlier last week to prevent to the boardwalk business from operating as a nightclub by revoking its ABC liquor license before the Memorial Day weekend, but the legal process didn’t happen in time for that, Vaz said.
Karma is supposed to operate primarily as a restaurant, not just to sell liquor, Vaz said.
The business is violating its own site plan approval to operate primarily as a restaurant granted several years ago, he said.
Seaside officials had already tried to prevent the club from opening over the holiday weekend when ads for “Hyperglow,” which bills itself as “America’s Largest Party” surfaced on its website.
“All Ages Welcome,” the post states.
Seaside officials have grappled for decades with problems from unruly visitors. But over the last few years there has been a concerted effort to develop a family-friendly atmosphere in the borough.