The Drama Room is closed

Lonzie Hershner, owner of the Drama Room, confirmed Thursday that the Cedar Springs bar is closed.

“We sat and decided it’s not worth pursuing,” he said. “We shut it down yesterday.”

The Hershners had been haggling with the property owner over the renewal of their lease.

Meanwhile, Arthur Hood sent Dallas Voice a copy of a lawsuit he filed in September against the Hershners for breach of contract.

Hershner said there were no grounds for the suit. He called Hood a disgruntled former employee who was relieved of his duties.

Hood said the closing of Drama Room does not affect his lawsuit. In the suit he said he entered into a sale agreement with the Hershners and put money into the bar to bring it current. He said the Hershners canceled the sale.

Hood said he plans to amend the suit next week and is trying to force the Hershners into arbitration.

Meanwhile, on Friday, an administrative law court will hear a challenge to the issuance of a liquor license for the Hideaway, the Hershner’s proposed reopening of a bar on Buena Vista Street in the Cole Park area of Oak Lawn.

—  David Taffet

Teen arrested for squeezing police officer’s testicles outside Havana

Cory Weddington III

A club-goer was arrested early Sunday at the Havana Lounge on Cedar Springs Road for public intoxication, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer after squeezing the officer’s testicles during an arrest.

Cory Weddington III, 19, was kicked out of the club, at 4006 Cedar Springs Road, around 4 a.m. when he was caught drinking, according to a Dallas police report.

Weddington allegedly refused to leave without his credit card, which he told police he left at the bar. Witnesses said they would retrieve his card when the club closed and return it to him. He became agitated and police told him to leave and gave him “several opportunities to leave with his friends,” the report states.

When he did not listen, an officer tried to take him into custody, but he became combative. The officer was able to take Weddington to the ground with an arm-bar technique and took hold of his left hand, but Weddington reached up with his right hand to the officer’s pants and began squeezing his testicles. The office put pressure behind his ear and told him to let go, but he squeezed harder, causing increased pain to the officer, the report states.

The officer then punched him in the face, but Weddington only squeezed more and began to twist his hand, causing the officer “extreme pain.” Weddington only relinquished his hold after the officer punched him multiple times.

He continued to fight officers while being handcuffed, the report states. His credit card was later found in his pocket, along with another in his wallet.

—  Dallasvoice

2 arrested in Cedar Springs ATM kidnapping; DPD still seeks 2 suspects

Two people were arrested in Oklahoma this week whom Dallas police believe are connected to an ATM robbery and kidnapping on Cedar Springs on Sept. 3.

Sr. Cpl. Sherri Jeffrey, a spokeswoman for DPD, told Instant Tea on Wednesday that the names of the arrested individuals have not been released and investigators are still trying to identify two other suspects. Sr. Cpl. Ashaki Hardeman said Friday that police are not currently releasing any other information.

A 43-year-old man was kidnapped while using an ATM in the 3900 Cedar Springs Road, according to a previous press release from Dallas police. The exact location of the ATM has not been released.

The man was bound with duct tape and driven to locations in Dallas and Irving where his captives forced him to give his PIN to withdraw cash before he was dumped in Irving.

Police released photos of two suspects last week. It is unclear if these are of the two people who were arrested in Oklahoma this week. They are described as a Hispanic woman wearing a light-colored shirt and a Hispanic man wearing a dark blue shirt with light-colored shorts. He is approximately 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 185 pounds. The type of vehicle is unknown.

Anyone with information about this case can contact Detective Scoggins of the Crimes Against Persons Robbery Unit at 214-671-3658 or 214-671-3584. Photos of the suspects are below.

—  Dallasvoice

Man abducted at Cedar Springs ATM, bound with duct tape, dumped in Irving

The victim is believed to have been kidnapped from the ATM at the Bank of America at 4023 Cedar Springs Road.

A man using an ATM on the Cedar Springs strip early Tuesday was abducted, hogtied with duct tape and robbed before being dumped in a vacant lot in Irving, according to Dallas police.

A police report says the victim, 43-year-old Rudolph Dinwiddie of Grapevine, was using a Bank of America ATM at 4000 Cedar Springs Road — which is the intersection of Throckmorton Street — at about 1 a.m.

The four suspects pulled up in a vehicle and one of them pointed a “modified sub machine [gun]” at Dinwiddie, ordering him not to move, according to the report. The suspects threatened to kill Dinwiddie if he didn’t cooperate, and forced him into the back seat of their vehicle at gunpoint.

The suspects then handcuffed Dinwiddie and used duct tape and zip ties to bind his arms and legs. When they found his keys in his pocket, they ordered him to direct them to his vehicle, a 2010 Nissan Altima that was parked two blocks away. The suspects then drove their vehicle to a nearby gas station, where they used Dinwiddie’s money to fill up, before taking him to several ATMs in Dallas and Irving and demanding his PIN so they could withdraw more cash.

The suspects finally threw Dinwiddie out of their vehicle in a vacant lot at 1440 Lindy Lane in Irving, where he was found by Irving officers who were flagged down by a passer-by. Dinwiddie suffered scrapes to his back and shoulders, and had visible swelling on his wrists and forearms. He was treated at Colombia Medical Hospital in Irving.

The Bank of America branch with an ATM is at 4023 Cedar Springs Road. The police report also lists an address of 3900 Cedar Springs Road. There are three other sidewalk ATMs near the 3900 block of Cedar Springs, but they are not affiliated with any one bank.

Dallas police spokeswoman Ashaki Hardeman said she was unable to confirm which ATM the victim was using. Hardeman said no further information was available about the incident.

—  John Wright

Construction begins on ilume park

The Crosland Group broke ground earlier this month on ilume park on Cedar Springs Road at Douglas Avenue. Site excavation began this week.

Ilume park will be a four-story 240-unit apartment complex built in a style similar to the original ilume.

Developer Luke Crosland said he expected leasing to begin in about 13 months. He said the property will not have the retail that ilume has across the street, but will have more amenities than the original property.

The new property continues the “green built” philosophy of the first and Crosland said he has met with the city to ensure better sidewalks and lighting.

More on the project in next week’s Dallas Voice.

—  David Taffet

MAP: Crime in Oak Lawn


Oak Lawn crime watch leader Nancy Weinberger sent out the above map Monday showing where offenses occurred in Oak Lawn during the month of July. The Oak Lawn Apartment Managers and Stakeholders Crime Watch Group holds its monthly meeting at noon Wednesday, Aug. 15 at the Oak Lawn Library Branch.

—  John Wright

Police seek suspects in robberies of 2 Cedar Springs club-goers this weekend

Two club-goers were robbed near Dallas’ gay entertainment district over the weekend.

The first robbery occurred at midnight on Saturday when a 30-year-old woman was punched in the back and in the right hand in the 3900 block of Cedar Springs Road.

The woman was leaving Sue Ellen’s and was walking down the sidewalk when the attack happened, according to the address listed in the Dallas police incident report. She was “alone in a partially lit area,” the report states.

The suspect took her purse and fled in a white SUV. He is described as a black male in his late 20s and about 6 feet tall.

The woman waited until she reached a friend’s house before calling 911. She was not injured.

The second robbery occurred in the 3300 block of Throckmorton Street around 11:20 p.m. Sunday.

A 36-year-old woman was walking to Station 4 with a friend when a Hispanic male in his 20s pointed a gun at them and took their property, Dallas police spokeswoman Sherri Jeffrey told Instant Tea. The man got away with $600 in cash, according to the report. He is described as 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with a medium build.

Anyone with information about these robberies should contact Dallas police at 314-671-3001. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at 214-373-8477 or through the department’s iWatch smartphone app.

—  Dallasvoice

Weigh in: What do you consider “the gayborhood?”

A straight friend of mine asked me what the actual geographic boundaries of what we call “the gayborhood” are. It’s easy to say, “near the intersection of Cedar Springs and Throckmorton,” but that’s a locus, not a boundary. It can extend in all directions for large portions, and even spike down residential streets and cross highways, depending on how you define it.

So how do you define it? Is it a two-block radius around The Crossroads? The better part of Dallas County? Your bedroom on a Saturday night?

We’d like to hear you weigh in with what you consider Dallas’ gayborhood (or gayborhoods) in the comments. There is no winner, it’s just for fun … ah, hell, let’s pick a winner or two. We have some swag to hand out to some who contribute to the conversation  — we’re looking right now through our stuff to see what we have (hmmm…Adam Lambert CDs, an American Translation DVD, some books, OK, we’re good). Why not — it’s almost the weekend.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

DART police accused of harassing homeless gay men at bus stop on Cedar Springs

DART police insisted that a man sitting on a DART bench put on a shirt, witnesses said.

Some patrons of JR.’s Bar & Grill are accusing DART police of harassing homeless gay men, but merchants and a DART spokesman said the police were probably just answering 911 calls.

On Monday, July 2, three men were seen being taken in handcuffs to a DART police car from the DART bench on Cedar Springs Road at Throckmorton Street. The next night, another man who was sitting shirtless on the bench was approached by two DART officers and told to put a shirt on, according to JR.’s patrons who witnessed the incidents.

DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said police would only have been at the location responding to a 911 call. DART police regularly patrol train stations. They are also responsible for bus stops, but normally would be at those stops only if called, Lyons said.

Cedar Springs Merchants Association Executive Director Scott Whittall said he knew nothing about the incidents. But he said merchants and the street’s security guard have called 911 for incidents of panhandling and people bothering patrons of shops, bars and restaurants.

Whittall said the security guard can remove someone from one of the benches that the CSMA placed on the street, but not from DART benches. He said those benches are DART property and under its jurisdiction.

Lyons said DART has a no-loitering policy.

“The facilities are there for transit purposes,” he said.

He said if someone is asleep on a bench, DART police first check to see if the person is OK. But if someone is sitting on a DART bench and a bus passes, DART police ask the person to leave and can arrest them for loitering.

Matthew Austin, who witnessed the incidents, said it’s strange that it happened two nights in a row. He said the incident with the shirtless man involved three police cars. He thought that was overkill for shirtlessness, which he said is certainly legal, and loitering. But the Monday event upset him more. He said one of the three men who were removed Monday is well known on the street and is mentally disabled.

“On Monday, they were doing absolutely nothing [wrong],” Austin said.

—  David Taffet

DPD seeks help identifying robbery suspects who held up woman leaving bar near Cedar Springs

Suspect 1

Dallas police are asking for help identifying four people who beat up and robbed a 24-year-old woman walking home from a nearby bar on June 17.

The woman was walking home after leaving a bar around 5:15 a.m. when two men “jumped her from behind striking her in the face and throwing her to the ground,” according to the incident report.

Police spokeswoman Sherri Jeffrey told Instant Tea she didn’t know which

Suspect 2

bar the woman was leaving but that it was located near Cedar Springs Road and Reagan Street. The woman was treated for an injury to her thumb after the men took off with her purse.

Police captured surveillance footage of four people in a gray Nissan Altima at a Jack in the Box on Illinois Avenue and later using her credit card at a nearby 7-11.

The four suspects are described as:

Suspect 1 – B/M/25 white tank top, “bump” haircut, goatee, tattoos on right shoulder.

Suspect 2 – L/M/20s white shirt, sunglasses on forehead.

Suspect 3 – B/M/25 wearing dark colored shirt with white diamond pattern and black do-rag.

Suspect 4 – Black Female wearing green striped shirt.

More photos and videos are below.

—  Dallasvoice