A New Jersey strip club that allowed a 19-year-old to drink inside prior to his death was permanently shut down.
Pleasantville City Council voted Wednesday night to revoke the mercantile license of Centerfolds Cabaret, drawing cheers from a crowd that gathered outside.
During the early morning hours of January 23, Irving Mayren-Guzman, 19, was inside Centerfolds on East Delilah Road in Pleasantville. According to police and court records, security staffers at the strip club later escorted Mayren-Guzman outside. He was in the Centerfolds parking lot when he was attacked by three men, investigators said.
“We do know that there was an altercation outside. A fight,” Pleasantville Acting Police Chief James Williams said. “We don't know what started the fight. We don't know if the parties knew one another.”
The three men seriously injured Mayren-Guzman, striking him with a closed fist and kicking him in the face and body while he was on the ground, according to court documents. Police said Mayren-Guzman then ran away from the business minutes later. He was reported missing later that day.
On January 25, around 9:30 a.m., Mayren-Guzman’s body was found in a marshy area just east of Centerfolds.
“It still hurts,” Eduardo Alvarez, Mayren-Guzman’s brother, told NBC10. “It hurts a lot. It hurts having to hear my mom cry.”
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Police later identified the three men who attacked Mayren-Guzman as 30-year-old Jamaul Timberlake of Atlantic City, 24-year-old John Hands of Pleasantville and 29-year-old Garnell Hands of Pleasantville. The three men were arrested on January 26 and charged with aggravated assault and other related offenses. They were not charged with murder however and officials still have not revealed a cause of death for Mayren-Guzman.
Centerfolds temporarily closed after Mayren-Guzman’s death. Police determined Mayren-Guzman had been served alcohol at Centerfolds despite being under 21, according to a letter obtained by NBC10. Police have also responded to the club for various incidents over the years.
“We did have an underage drinker in there and then a life lost, and that’s a very serious offense,” Pleasantville Mayor Judy Ward said. “So I really have to think about that a little bit more, as far as, is that the kind of business we want in Pleasantville?”
For weeks, loved ones of Mayren-Guzman marched through Pleasantville demanding transparency from the mayor’s office in the investigation. They also gathered outside Centerfolds, demanding that the club be shut down for good. They got their wish Wednesday night around 9 p.m. Zara Mayren, Mayren-Guzman’s mother, was in tears when she found out about the decision.
“My son is everything to me,” she said. “He was my son.”
It was a rare moment of joy for the family amid a month of heartache.
“We want our brother back but this is the right step,” Alvarez said. “This is a good step.”