Hunt Club employee:They hire people affiliated with local gangs - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Former Hunt Club employee: "They hire people affiliated with local gangs"

© Curtis Lowery, former Remington's Hunt Club security staffer. © Curtis Lowery, former Remington's Hunt Club security staffer.
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Remington's Hunt Club has a reputation for violence and now one former employee is speaking out about what he says has been going on behind the scenes at the infamous Hattiesburg nightspot.

The Hunt Club is spiraling out of control says former security staffer Curtis Lowery.

"They hire people affiliated with local gangs," says Lowery, "They're reasoning behind that is well if they work here, then all their boys are going to come here."

The club has been a magnet for violence since the November 2010 shooting of three University of Southern Mississippi football players in its parking lot, and Lowery, who began working security there two months ago, said there was a push to make it safer. Lowery says management was misleading about the club's progress in an interview with the Hattiesburg American newspaper, saying a metal detector was being used in security screenings upon entrance to the club; Lowery says the detector came up missing prior to the interview.

"Management and the owner in interviews with the media right before the city council meeting was saying what we were doing, it wasn't happening," said Lowery.

But Lowery says any efforts by management to crack down in the club lasted only until the March 5 Hattiesburg City Council hearing on the restrictive, and what many call punitive, bar ordinance that was proposed by Mayor Johnny DuPree's office in the wake of the 2010 shooting.

"Before the city council meeting when they wanted us to get zero tolerance, the leash is off, get zero tolerance was their exact words, we cleaned it up," said Lowery.

After the public hearing, Lowery, who identified himself as head of security for the Hunt Club while speaking up publicly at the meeting, said the push for a safer club stopped.

"Now that the city council meeting is over, they feel like now - honestly - they feel almost untouchable," said Lowery.

Lowery says, when guns or drugs were confiscated - security was ordered to turn them over directly to management.

It's a culture Lowery says, that is driven by profit at the expense of safety.

"After the city council meeting they started to notice that after a few weeks of being that strict their numbers diminished - you're talking about between 1800 to 2000 people now are 600 and 700," said Lowery.

Another former bouncer corroborated Lowery's allegations, but did not want to be identified. Hunt Club Manager Chip Mills would not speak on camera but denied Lowery's accusations. 

"He was stealing, He was too rough, the hunt club didn't want that kind of rough attitude around the patrons"

Lowery believes he was pushed out of his job because he wanted to keep the club too clean and, when asked whether he thinks another shooting like the one in 2010 could happen again, he says "I know it would ... Now, it's only a matter of time."

Copyright 2012 WDAM. All rights reserved.

 

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