WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Warren police say a bar in the city was open and operating, despite an order by Ohio’s governor to temporarily shut down such businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Just before midnight Saturday, officers were called to the Premier Bar on North Park Avenue.
Officers reported finding six cars in the parking lot. The door to the bar was ajar, and people were inside talking, according to a police report.
Police reported four to five people were sitting at the bar. Two beer bottles were on the floor near them, and what appeared to be a mixed drink was on the bar.
Police informed one person who told officers that he was in charge, Chester Adams, that he couldn’t run the bar during the state-mandated quarantine. Adams told police that they were wrong and that he had permission to sell food, according to a police report.
Gov. DeWine issued his order for Ohio’s bars and restaurants on March 15. As part of the order, people aren’t allowed to dine in and drink at bars, but carry-out and delivery remain available.
Officers reported that they tried to issue Adams a summons to appear in court, but he said he would not show up in court and that officers would have to arrest the real owner of the building.
He was taken to the Trumbull County Jail on a charge of restrictions on the sale of food or alcohol and was later released.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge on Monday.