Future of North Huntingdon strip club in limbo
Gloria's Cantina, a North Huntingdon strip club padlocked last month after dancers and a patron were arrested on drug and prostitution charges, will remain closed indefinitely after a Westmoreland County judge on Monday stormed out of a hearing on the bar's future.
Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. ended a hearing in which prosecutors are seeking to have the Route 30 club declared a nuisance bar and permanently closed.
During testimony from an undercover state police trooper, the judge became upset with attorney Dante Bertani, who was representing Gloria's.
McCormick suspended the hearing after numerous complaints from Bertani that he allegedly had not received investigatory reports from District Attorney John Peck.
“Sit down and shut up,” McCormick yelled from the bench at Bertani as he and Assistant District Attorney Kelly Hammers discussed documents in the case.
When Bertani started to argue with the judge, McCormick repeatedly shouted, “I'm done,” stormed off the bench and slammed shut his office door.
Before the abrupt ending, McCormick heard testimony from Trooper Teko Angelicchio, who made five undercover visits to Gloria's between Sept. 5 and Oct. 10.
Angelicchio said dancers solicited him to pay for sex and a patron sold him drugs.
A dancer took Angelicchio to a private upstairs room and attempted to engage him in sexual activity, he testified. Angelicchio said he halted her attempts in the dimly lit room, which was furnished with a couch and a lamp.
Dancers charged $60 for a half-hour of private dealings, according to Angelicchio.
“Every dancer that approached me specifically asked to go up to a private room,” Angelicchio testified.
Peck wants the court to find that criminal activity at the club warrants labeling it a nuisance bar. The bar, which is owned by 83-year-old Gloria Brugnoli, has been a fixture on the western end of the township, next to the Hartford Heights Volunteer Fire Department, since 1971.
State police raided the club on Nov. 8. Brugnoli has not been charged with a crime.
Nathan Edward Moore, 34, of Pitcairn and Ashlee Nicole Campbell, 30, of East Pittsburgh were charged with drug possession with intent to deliver. Moore was a patron at the bar, according to police, while Campbell worked as a dancer.
Selene Amber Vicini, 35, of Rochester, Beaver County, was charged with prostitution.
Investigators have testified that Brugnoli was seated at the bar, just feet away from dancers propositioning patrons and while drug dealing occurred.
Bertani maintains that police have no evidence that Brugnoli did anything wrong and that her club should remain open.
A date to reconvene the hearing has not been set.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kin of 2013 DUI crash victim in Hempfield lose young family in fire
- DNA evidence in alleged June 2013 rape leads to Latrobe man’s arrest
- East Huntingdon man, 91, finds 2nd career as a woodworker
- Hempfield killer Stahl ordered to pay for slain wife’s funeral
- Mt. Pleasant residents voice support for Zilli as borough police chief
- Westmoreland prison online visit program delayed again
- North Huntingdon church shaken by youth pastor’s child porn rap
- Westmoreland group gets pet oxygen masks for area fire departments
- Palmer assistant honored with Latrobe service award
- Seat in 32nd District deemed crucial for Pennsylvania Senate control
- Scottdale appoints borough solicitor