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City Cracks Down on Crime-Ridden Carryouts and Drug Houses

Walker Evans Walker Evans City Cracks Down on Crime-Ridden Carryouts and Drug HousesFamily Market at 924 East Long Street — Photo by Walker Evans.
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On Friday morning, the City of Columbus closed down the Family Market carryout at 924 East Long Street, citing a long list of complaints and illegal activities. According to the office of City Attorney Zach Klein, the business was home to drug trafficking activity as well as police reports of assault, burglary, fighting, public intoxication, car theft and underage sales of alcohol, cigarettes and lottery tickets.

“The ironically named Family Market promoted anything but family values,” stated Klein. “Cocaine was being sold right along with milk and eggs, and alcohol was being sold to minors. We are always concerned about what some might describe as ‘food deserts’ in certain pockets of our city but the danger this carryout posed to the surrounding neighborhood was clear and convincing.”

A group of Near East Side neighbors called NOBO friends have recently created a ballot initiative that would prohibit carryout businesses like Family Market from selling alcohol for off-site consumption in the neighborhood. If the ballot initiative is approved, it would affect other carryout businesses located in Ward 7, Precincts B and D, located north of Broad, east of 71, south of Mount Vernon and west of Champion Avenue.

The move by the City Attorney’s office is the latest in a series of crackdowns on problematic properties throughout the city. Klein’s office announced in February the shuttering of A to Z Market at 1015 East Hudson, as well as a “drug house” at 2755 Pontiac Avenue, both located in Linden. Another residential property was shuttered earlier in March at 424 South Harris Avenue on the city’s West Side.

“We must never forget the danger these drug houses pose to the residents in these neighborhoods and to the police officers who are working to keep them safe,” stated Klein.

The owner of Family Market is scheduled for a follow up hearing on March 19 to determine the fate of the business.

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