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Charlie Bear Bar Under Investigation Following Officer-Involved Shooting

COLUMBUS (Lisa Rantala/Kate Liebers) -- The officer-involved shooting that ended an alleged gunman's life came after a history of criminal activity at the campus bar.

On Monday, police said they are going to do all they can to look into Charlie Bear and keep that kind of violence from ever happening again.

The club, located off of Olentangy River Road, is closed after police shot Jonathan D. Rodgers. Rodgers had allegedly threatening to shoot a patron before pointing a gun at an officer.

Charlie Bear's owner, who was not available for comment, opened the club at this location less than a month ago.

"We've had issues at this bar before," said Sgt. Rich Weiner of the Columbus Division of Police. "That's why there is special duty working for the complex."

Police said the problems with this establishment started last year, when it sat in the campus gateway.

"Officers have been dispatched over the last year for fights, loud music," Weiner said.

The state cited Charlie Bear's liquor permit in May for allegedly keeping liquor in unsanitary conditions.

The Ohio State University said it was around that time when the bar's owner stopped paying rent.

The university was already forcing the bar to pay for extra patrols, due to its numerous underage drinking arrests and fights spilling out past the bar doors.

In November, as the university was preparing to kick the bar off campus, Charlie Bear relocated to Olentangy River Road.

Assistant City Attorney William "Bill" Sperlazza, who tracks Columbus bars, said the new location makes Charlie Bear more difficult to track.

"If they're creating a place where laws are broken, violence occurs, underage people feel comfortable drinking, we want them to know their permit is in trouble," Sperlazza said.

Considering Monday's shooting, more underage drinking arrests, and Charlie Bear's new location, officers said their investigation of this bar will now be given a greater priority.

Read more about the shooting here: http://abc6onyourside.com/shared/news/features/top-stories/stories/wsyx_police-fatally-shoot-alleged-gunman-outside-columbus-club-27796.shtml
 
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