Pa. club cracks down on teens

March 19, 1997


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A fight and a separate incident in a parking lot that led to two arrests last Saturday at Extremes, a popular teen club, has the owner stopping the music. At least for a little while.

Extremes owner Mark Hoffman plans to stop the music Saturday at 11 p.m. and more than 400 teens expected at the popular East Main Street teen club will have to quit dancing, pause at the pool tables, and interrupt their video games.

Once the crowd is settled, Hoffman plans to use a brief chunk of time to emphasize some of the club rules.


"I'm going to explain to them what will not happen here," Hoffman said.

"This is a safe place for kids to go and we work hard to keep it that way. At the same time, we're dealing with teenagers and sometimes we have to deal with certain problems," Hoffman said.

Although Hoffman has improved security at the club, the night spot has attracted trouble.

A Nov. 11 fight between police and juveniles at the club resulted in smashed windows, police using pepper spray and three 16-year-old boys facing charges ranging from aggravated assault to criminal trespass. Some teens crowding around the police also shouted and spit at the officers.

Waynesboro Police had been called to the night club 40 times during the night spot's first month.

And as the club grows more popular - a record 448 teens and young adults flocked to the club last Saturday for the weekly dance party - the potential for more problems exist.

"Our success is now becoming something we have to deal with," Hoffman said.

"Sometimes having a reputation is good and bad," Waynesboro Police Chief Glenn Phenicie added.

The club owner said he and employees are doing everything they can to provide a fun and safe environment for teens.

"We're trying to spread the truth out so parents and kids will know certain things don't happen here," Hoffman said.

Since it opened last October, Hoffman said he and club employees have enforced strict rules.

Each teen entering the club on Friday and Saturday nights has to pass through a metal detector, their personal belongings are searched and they are subjected to a "pat down," said John Powell, head of security at the club.

"We've tightened a lot of things down," Hoffman said.

There are no cigarette machines in the club and no alcoholic beverages are served, he said.

"The more time kids spend in here the less likely they're going to be involved in something serious," Hoffman said. "When they're in here they're not drinking and driving, they're not doing drugs, they're not having sex."

Even though there have been some problems, Phenicie admitted he'd rather see the teens at the club rather than on the streets.

But the club's increasing popularity has turned what was originally a place for local teens into a hot spot known by some as far away as Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Teens from Hagerstown, Harrisburg, Pa., and throughout Virginia and West Virginia appear at the club and Powell said he's even seen vehicle license plates from New York.

Starting this weekend, Hoffman said they're going to make it known that out-of-towners are welcome as long as they play by the rules.

If club security doesn't know the names or recognize the faces, they'll have to show an ID, Powell added.

Open Sundays and every day after school until midnight, and on Friday and Saturday nights until 1 a.m., the club has been used for what it was intended - a place for teens to go and something for them to do, Hoffman said.

Extremes holds all-you-can-eat pizza nights, pool tournaments and other activities for teens and plans are in the works to hold contests and provide day trips to amusement parks over the summer. Plans to expand the club to include a stage for live bands are also being considered.

"We're trying to think of fun things to do," Hoffman said, who also encourages parents to come in and shoot pool with their kids.

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