SOUTH RACCOON ROAD Antonio's seeks solution to violence after second charge
A Boardman man told police he was choked, kicked and punched by bouncers.
By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
AUSTINTOWN -- An attorney for the owner of Antonio's nightclub on South Raccoon Road says his client hopes to work with township officials to address concerns about violence at the club.
"I think every situation can be resolved if level heads meet," said Atty. Damian Billak, who represents Corso Foods Inc., which holds the liquor license for Antonio's. The president and sole shareholder of Corso Foods is Robert Camardo, owner of Antonio's.
Ken Cardinal, assistant Mahoning County prosecutor, charged Corso Foods with organizational criminal liability Thursday in county court in Austintown. It is the second organizational criminal liability charge filed against the club.
Police said the charges stem from reports of fights involving the club's bouncers. Cardinal has said that under state law, a liquor permit holder can be charged with organizational criminal liability if it allows criminal activity to occur at a bar or restaurant.
Corso Foods is set to be arraigned on the latest charge Thursday; it has pleaded innocent to the first charge and its final pre-trial hearing on the charge is set for Aug. 30.
Acting Police Chief Lt. Mark Durkin said he is willing to take Camardo up on any offer to meet and discuss concerns about the club.
"We want to see the problems resolved too," Durkin said. He added that Camardo may want to talk to the club's bouncers about their responsibilities.
Police asked Cardinal to file the latest charge against Corso Foods after receiving a report that a Boardman man was choked, kicked and punched by Antonio's bouncers Aug. 15. The man told police the beating occurred after he told another man on the club's dance floor to leave his wife alone.
A bouncer argued with the Boardman man, reports state. When the man and his wife tried to leave the dance floor, he was grabbed from behind and choked by a bouncer, reports state.
The man said he then fell to the floor, where he was kicked and punched by several bouncers. The man's wife told police the bouncers eventually took him outside and threw him to the ground, where they continued to punch and kick him.
Reports state that the man had bruises on his forehead and right arm, and that his wife had bruises on her arms from where she said bouncers had carried her out of the club. Neither the man nor his wife sought medical attention.
Camardo and club manager Tony Scandy have said they had few problems at Antonio's until this spring, when off-duty police stopped providing security for the club.
Durkin said officers stopped providing security after they learned that Scandy had pleaded guilty to felony drug abuse and felony unlawful transport of firearms in the 1990s.
Police department rules prohibit officers from associating with felons.