FORT MYERS, FLA – The City of Fort Myers is reviewing downtown security issues.
It comes after a weekend assault that happened in the same area as a January shooting along Main Street.
Kit Notbohm, owner of Celsius, said fights are not uncommon in downtown bars.
“You know, I don’t think there’s anything out of the ordinary. There are fights downtown in every bar. Every place has their times when they have an altercation,” Notbohm said.
Notbohm said Saturday night’s brawl happened near his business.
“It happens everywhere,” Notbohm said. “I’m glad there were no gunshots or anything more serious like that.”
Next door to Celsius Nightclub is The Indigo Room, which Raimond Aulen has owned since 1994. Aulen showed FOX 4 surveillance video of an incident that happened years ago – but said similar behavior is happening were still performing on the streets of downtown Fort Myers.
” There are ups and downs. There are different cycles. But, overall, downtown is a great place,” Aulen said. “From time to time we have problems and I think if they were dealt with properly we wouldn’t have these problems.
Aulen said he believed more could be done to keep the area safe.
“A lot of times it has to do with operators in certain formats that they have and how they’ve set up their dress code and things like that,” Aulen said. “You can let things get out of control and you’ll be in trouble.”
Aulen also said he thinks more police need to patrol downtown.
Liz Bello-Matthews, public information officer for the city of Fort Myers, said the city is aware of the incidents that have occurred — including the shooting in January — and the city is conducting foot patrols in the region.
“We have a lot of patrols in this area, obviously, due to the nature of the business,” Bello-Matthews said. “However, we are monitoring the entire city center. Late at night people come out of bars and they are happy and rowdy and things can happen. So we don’t just look away. Rather, we focus on the neighborhood because we know how important downtown is to the economy of the entire city.
Notbohm said the police presence is beneficial to the area.
“The police department is posted outside the entrance where Indigo and Celsius are,” Notbohm said. “So if anything, they’re kind of a deterrent to people with bad behavior.”
Raimond said he thought the police could do more.
“They’re here and, at closing time, the officers and they’re hanging out across the street in their ars or on their cars,” Raimond said. “But they’re not here where these people are getting more involved like the officers did back then.”