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Surfside Club given stern warning for breaking coronavirus-related restrictions

Posted at 6:50 PM, May 27, 2020

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Neb. (KMTV) — The Douglas County Sheriffs office has yet to issue a citation for breaking coronavirus-related restrictions, but they say Surfside Club will likely get one if they break the rules again.

Captain Wayne Hudson with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says when he got to Surfside Club Saturday night, he saw people drinking and not eating food, others sitting at the bar inside, drinking.

Both violate the Directive Health Measure that Governor Ricketts issued.

“But the more blatant violation is just the amount of people that were there,” says Hudson.

Hudson says hundreds were there, both inside and outside, and is still figuring out their specific outside capacity and if they were over 50 percent of it.

The state’s DHM requires them to be under 50 percent capacity.

Regardless, Hudson left them off with a warning, this time.

“He’s already been warned, so more than likely a citation will be issued,” says Hudson.

Owner Mike Walker told 3 News Now over the phone that he knows law enforcement has a job to do, but he wasn't over capacity, saying the sheriffs office didn’t even count the people there.

“I guarantee you, I was pushing that occupancy, but it wasn’t anywhere near 300 and I didn’t get an opportunity to dispute that with them,” says Walker.

Walker also said a band was playing an unpaid practice session and people just flocked to the music.

“We did a few last minute things because the weather was nice,” says Walker.

He also everybody there has purchased food and had a stamp to prove it.

“I said every person here has a stamp on their hand that says they have purchased food,” says Walker.

Restaurants and bars are going to have restrictions for some time.

Hudson is telling the business owner to enforce them, so his deputies don’t have to come and be the bad guy.

“Don’t put law enforcement in a situation where we have to take an enforcement effort. We don’t want to do it, we will if we have to,” says Hudson.