Dallas PD Takes a Walk on the DarkSide and Discovers, Why, That Ain't No Church
According to the Dallas City Attorney's Office, a self-proclaimed church near Northwest Highway and Webb Chapel Road is anything but. Says a complaint filed today in advance of a late-afternoon hearing, whatever Glen Hudson says he's operating at 3027 W. Northwest Highway, not far from where all those Bachman Lake-area strip clubs used to undress, is actually a light-night dance club -- and an alleged crime scene filled with a smorgasbord of illegal drugs and grown men having sex with underage girls. Which is why the club's manager -- a man who goes by the moniker Tommy Gunn -- was taken to Lew Sterrett earlier this week and given a $75,000 bond.
In a letter to the city, Hudson claimed he was an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church -- a religious organization that provides online ordination. Hudson claimed that business, as a religious establishment, was exempt from Dallas land use regulations. To which city attorneys said: Um, no.
According to Melissa Miles, deputy chief of code compliance in the CAO, the city was getting plenty of complaints about the place, known as DarkSide After Hours -- which, according to its website, has now "been deemed too krunk to be locked into one location." At which point the Dallas Police Department went undercover and discovered that clubgoers were continuously offered a buffet of drugs including ketamine, LSD, MDMA, Ecstasy, mushrooms, morphine, and marijuana, according to the city's petition for a restraining order limiting the venue's hours of operations. Detectives say they sure as hell didn't observe religious services during any of their four visits, but they did manage to make 15 drug buys.
The petition, which you'll find below, calls the property a "common nuisance, specifically, as a place to which persons habitually go for delivery, possession, or use of a controlled substance." Says Miles, look, don't pretend it's anything other than what it is: "a dance club, a rave." A hearing was scheduled for late this afternoon, when the city will ask a judge to issue a restraining order "on an emergency basis" that will restrict the establishment's hours of operation to daytime periods that Miles says "would be perfectly fine for a church." If this were a church. Which it isn't.
The temporary restraining order would limit the facility's hours to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and would require that people younger than 21 years old be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If the judge grants the city's request, "It will effectively shut them down" as a club, Miles says.
The City Attorney's Office is only handling the civil matters -- the late-night parties without proper zoning permits. But DarkSide, says the DPD, may have had an even darker side: According to the city, Thomas Eppelsheimer (or "Tommy Gunn") was arrested Monday for sexual indecency and performance with a minor. Eppelsheimer allegedly supplied drugs to minor females at the club and "sexually assaulted one or more of them at the property," per the petition that follows.
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