CLEVELAND – At a local topless club, patrons must pay for their dances with cash or credit only. The owners, however, said that some customers just don't get it, so they're calling in police.
In an exclusive report, Tom Meyer, The Investigator, said that police are cracking down, but it's not the business that's at fault.
Police said that the topless club Cleveland PM in Valley View has been a clean operation in the five years that it's been open. The folks running the place said that they try to chase undesirables away.
"We don't want anyone hurt," a club manager named Gretchen said. "We don't want to be shut down."
One patron requested and received a private dance. It's what he used to pay for that dance that landed him in big trouble with police.
"Instead of paying for her dance with money, he tried to pay her with cocaine from his shirt pocket," Valley View Police Capt. Mark Sierleja said.
An off-duty cop was working security for the club and was notified immediately. Richard Fierst of Parma was arrested and later indicted on drug charges.
Cleveland PM owner, James Kaspar, said that the club strictly enforces a zero-tolerance drug policy.
"Who wants drugs? I don't want drugs," Kaspar said. "I want customers to feel safe."
Police said that customers have tried before to pay dancers with drugs instead of cash. The operators ban the customers and seek prosecution.
"A lot of our girls are college kids trying to pay for school and single moms just trying to make a living," Gretchen said.
In the past, police said that they've been unable to charge customers accused of using drugs as currency at strip bars. This time, however, police said that they recovered the incriminating evidence from the customer's pocket.