SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — Some San Jose residents claim their quiet neighborhood has been taken over by what they call a strip club. They say loud parties have been happening every weekend for months despite endless calls to 311, 911, law enforcement and more.
Exotic dancers, booze and stacks of them. Before the “Fressh Promotions” private party kicked off on Camille Circle in San Jose, neighbors say they heard construction going on in the middle of the night for months.
“What they were building, I had no idea,” said a resident of Cercle Camille who asked that we not reveal her identity.
“So we called the general manager and he thought maybe they were the ones lifting the weights,” laughed Andy Benzinger, attorney for the residents of Camille Circle.
Benzinger thinks he now knows what is being built.
Residents provided I-Team ABC7 News with pictures of empty drills & dancing stick boxes thrown in the communal bins.
Once the work stopped, the music started.
“It’s not Mozart, it’s strip club music,” the resident said.
Neighbors say they found videos of the parties by clicking on a map in the Snapchat app, with all the videos public, most too explicit to air on the news.
“It’s literally every weekend,” Benzinger said.
VIDEO: SJFD investigates after online video shows dancer exiting fire truck at adult entertainment club
Benzinger’s relative lives on Camille Circle. It now represents about 12 units.
“This is an unlicensed commercial activity right in the middle of a cluster of townhouses. It’s mind-boggling. It’s unbelievable,” Benzinger said.
ABC7 News obtained video of people coming and going from the resort in the middle of the night. At the foot of the stairs, individuals wearing shirts marked “security” escort them to the party with the help of a flashlight.
“It’s wild for me, I don’t want to live like this,” the resident said.
That’s why she agreed to speak with ABC7 News, but asked us not to show her face for fear of her safety.
For months, she says she called 311, 911 and even the police directly.
“When you call, what do you tell the 911 operator,” asked ABC7 News I-Team reporter Melanie Woodrow.
“I tell them there’s a strip club in that particular unit,” the resident said.
“And what’s the 911 operator’s response when you say there’s a strip club in that unit,” Woodrow asked.
“They basically take the call and tell me they’ll take care of it,” the resident explained.
But she says that despite her best efforts, every weekend the parties continue.
“Did the police come to every one of those calls,” Woodrow asked.
“I have no idea,” the resident said.
The I-Team has asked the San Jose police to look up several case numbers provided to us by the resident. A spokesperson said the complaints were related to noise or music. We further inquired about three 911 calls in one weekend.
One on Aug. 18 at 4:42 a.m. A spokesperson told I-Team that police did not respond to this 911 call because a supervisor requested that the information be forwarded to the office of follow-up surveys.
Police said another call on August 19 at 4:58 a.m. was a music-only complaint and there was no response from police.
In a final call to 911 Aug. 20 at 4:08 a.m., San Jose police said communications personnel called back the public information team for an update on the noise disturbance before send agents. When the caller could not be reached for a status update, the call was dropped.
In a follow-up email to ABC7 News, a spokesperson called the noise disturbance a “low priority call.”
“There’s not the sense of urgency that I think this situation deserves,” Benzinger said.
A San Jose police spokesperson told I-Team that public information officers and other department personnel were unavailable for interviews.
Via email, the spokesperson said I-Team SJPD was first made aware of the allegations in early August and that an investigation into what they call the illegal activity was open and ongoing.
But the party planner told me he wasn’t doing anything illegal.
I-Team reporter Melanie Woodrow called the number listed on the invites and spoke with someone who identified themselves as Fressh for 22 minutes. He told her that private parties were for friends and family only and that her mother, who lived in the townhouse, had recently died. He denied charging money to enter or for bottle service and told ABC7 News that “200” for bottles referred to tokens, not dollars. He said exotic dancers are performers, family and friends, not employees. He called his brothers’ security guards and told them that they worked in nearby club cemeteries and if they were out it was because they were smoking.
In addition to the SJPD, residents filed complaints with other agencies.
San Jose’s assistant code enforcement director said the I-Team Code Enforcement has opened a case to investigate any potential zoning, building, or municipal code violations under (its) jurisdiction. Additionally, he coordinates with the SJPD on townhouse issues.
“Coordinate,” Benzinger said. “Take care of this problem now before it gets worse.”
The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control told I-Team it could neither confirm nor deny whether it was investigating, but reiterated that it is reviewing every complaint it receives. Additionally, selling alcoholic beverages in California without the proper license is a tortious violation of the Business and Professions Code.
An attorney for the Homeowners Association said the HOA had no comment.
Aside from law enforcement, a person who told ABC7 News they helped the landlord said an eviction process was underway but was also taking time. She texted Woodrow: “We are doing everything we can to get these people out as soon as possible while we wait for the court clerk to process the documents.”
An effort the party host may be aware of. When ABC7 News told him about his neighbors’ concerns over the phone, he apologized and offered to turn the music down. He also said he planned to leave within the next 20 days.
On Thursday afternoon, a sheriff’s deputy came up the stairs and placed an eviction notice on the window giving those inside until September 6 to leave or face eviction.
In the meantime, the people who live here are at their wit’s end.
“I feel really traumatized by this,” the resident said.
“It’s not safe, it’s dangerous, and it’s not just dangerous for me, it’s dangerous for everyone,” she continued.
“It only takes one time for things to go terribly wrong,” Benzinger said.
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