Church-goers disgusted by club-goers refuse

March 5, 2012 4:24:04 PM PST
Parents and church members say they're fed up with arriving to services on Sundays to find the church's property trashed. They're blaming a night club across the street for the mess.

Church members say they've found beer bottles, condoms, even drug paraphernalia on their way to services and they want the neighboring club to clean it up.

This happened at Saint Stephen's Catholic Church on Washington Avenue. Parishioners say walking to church on Sunday mornings have become filthy and embarrassing because of what they find along the way. And they say a club across the street is to blame.

Talk about a walk of shame.

Parishioner Nancy Segovia said, "We can't have our kids seeing this, growing up, two second graders, walking to Mass seeing this. It's disgusting."

Promotional club fliers depicting nude women, dirty needles and empty beer bottles all litter the grounds of Saint Stephen's Catholic Church. The church has been a cornerstone of the Mexican community in that neighborhood for more than four decades.

"That's why my mom comes in early so they won't get injuries or anything because the kids do play with them," Segovia explained.

Parishioners say the trash is spilling over onto their property from parties at the club across the street.

"Especially on Saturday and on Sunday morning," said parishioner Raul Perez. "I see a lot of trash, a lot of bottle glass, people make a mess over here."

While the city says the club is within state guidelines by being at least 300 feet from the church, parishioners want the law changed, and the club, out of sight.

"Because we don't want anything to happen to the kids here," Segovia said.

We showed the club owner the fliers and he was appalled, but said they're not his. Still, he vowed to work with the church to clean things up.

The club owner also pointed out an afterhours club across the street and he says they have little control of what happens in the area after 4am, when employees leave on Fridays and Saturdays.

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