The following information was provided by the Peekskill police. It does not indicate a conviction.
On Saturday, Nov. 12, around 11 p.m. officers noticed suspicious activity at El Sabor Latino restaurant at 933 South Street. Several patrons were entering and exiting through the back door of the establishment. The officers further investigated and found several females were in the bar dancing with patrons for a fee.
Police explain that this is commonly referred to as “mingling,” and involves women dancing and socializing with male customers who purchase them small drinks at an inflated price with the profits split between the bar and the female “mingler.”
“While this may not be prostitution in the traditional sense, once you start bringing females who profit off companionship with males it is a slippery slope towards prostitution,” said Lieutenant Eric Johansen. “We will be extra vigilant investigating places that have a history of this kind of activity or that we get complaints about.”
The restaurant was not charged for the mingling but was cited for employing security personnel who had not been state certified. A referral was made to the building department due to the fact the front door was locked and unable to be used as an entrance or exit. A representative of the restaurant is due in Peekskill City Court on December 19 at 11 a.m. Sgt. Len Mignini and officer Carl DeMarco issued the citation. A report will be made to the New York State Liquor Authority which may result in additional fines as well, Johansen said.
Johansen said that El Sabor Latino was cited for similar violations in July of this year.
“It’s basically the perfect storm,” he said. “We have a growing Hispanic population and naturally they are going to congregate in bars they fell comfortable with that cater to that population. And we have a large number of Hispanic males here to make money to send home and they are lonely and looking for companionship. The establishments are taking advantage of it.”
Johansen said the police department is working to maintain a high quality of life for residents and businesses in the downtown.
“We see advertisements and pay attention to the local media and are aware its going on. It is our job to proactive and ensure it does not continue,” Johansen said.