Court rules Kricket’s can reopen with changes in operating hours

By Greg Smart -

Kricket’s Tavern has been allowed to reopen with new operating hours of 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

DAYTON.– Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Mary Wiseman extended the temporary restraining order on Kricket’s Tavern on Monday.

Kricket’s will be allowed to reopen, but must increase security, install lighting to its parking lot and ban loitering outside of the bar.

The court ordered new operating hours of 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and must make changes before Nov. 5 when legal counsel from Huber Heights and Kricket’s Tavern are to meet again at 3 p.m.

Huber Heights Police Chief Mark Lightner testified for nearly two hours on Monday. Total testimony lasted about 5.5 hours. Lightner told the Courier that from Jan. 1, 2014 to Sept. 28, 2015, that Huber police responded to 209 calls for service at Kricket’s. He said that 68 of those were investigated as potential crimes with 27 reports taken. The other calls would have been traffic stops, permit holder checks and extra patrols and foot patrols, etc.

Lightner indicated that he felt that police resources he had to allocate during those 19 months to Kricket’s had been great and those resources could have been allocated somewhere else in the city, had it not been for the constant report of drug activity, intoxication, disorderly conduct and other criminal offenses. He indicated these reported crimes substantially interfered with the public decency. sobriety, peace and good order of the city.

Lightner said it was identified through the hearing that the main problem involved the hours of operation as most of the calls for which investigative reports were taken occured between midnight and 2:30 a.m.

“The bar owner now has to address how they’re going to stop the loitering in the parking lot,” added Lightner.

City leaders have been seeking to cancel the liquor license of Kricket’s Tavern after a 19-year-old Springfield man, Joshua Hamilton, was shot and killed around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27 at Kricket’s. The first step in that nuisance abatement process to shut the business down took place on Wednesday, Sept. 30 as a restraining order was issued by Wiseman. The order was posted by police on the door at Kricket’s Tavern, located at 5478 Brandt Pike, stating at the time that the establishment had been lawfully declared a nuisance and had been ordered temporarily closed.

Michael Daren Scott, 20, of Dayton, was recently indicted for the Sept. 27 shooting death that occurred at Kricket’s. During the altercation, witnesses reported seeing the victim, 19‐year‐old Joshua Lamar Hamilton, of Springfield, being beaten and assaulted, before being fatally shot by the defendant. The defendant was indicted on two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault, one count of having weapons while under disability and one count of illegal possession of a firearm in liquor permit premises.The defendant is currently incarcerated at the Montgomery County Jail, being held on a $1 million bond. Eyewitnesses assisted the Huber Heights Police Department in identifying the defendant from video and photographic evidence.

Kricket’s Tavern has been allowed to reopen with new operating hours of 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.’s Tavern has been allowed to reopen with new operating hours of 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

By Greg Smart

Reach Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter

Reach Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter