Authorities shut down underground nightclub

An underground nightclub was shut down Thursday in violation of a public health order requiring bars and nightclubs to remain closed to slow transmission of COVID-19, City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Police Chief William Scott said Friday.

SFPD officers from the Tactical Unit and Bayview station shut down the illegal club at 1610 Armstrong Ave. after Herrera secured a civil inspection and abatement warrant from a judge on Thursday. Officers confiscated four gambling machines, 50 barstools, a pool table, fog machine and other nightclub equipment.

The City Attorney’s Office surveilled the site on the nights of June 26 and 27, when multiple people dressed in evening attire were seen entering the building that had loud music. Witnesses said there were about 75 people each night entering the nightclub on the weekends.

An investigation by the City Attorney’s Office determined that the underground club on Armstrong Avenue was operated by the same people who ran another nightclub at 2266 Shafter Ave., which, on April 11, was the first underground club shut down.

Both locations were reportedly rented by Mariano Pena, who said they were to be used by a cleaning company called Bay Area Pinnacle Cleaning LLC. Pena’s daughter, Yeinny Martinez, came to the scene after both raids and identified herself and her father as the leaseholder at both underground clubs, according to the city attorney’s office

“These illegal nightclub operators are endangering people’s lives,” Herrera said. “We’re not going to let that happen. Our focus right now is on removing the immediate threat to public health.”

It is up to the district attorney to determine if Pena and Martinez will face criminal prosecution for threatening public health and safety though the operations of illegal nightclubs. All materials found from both underground clubs are currently in police custody.

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