The City of Columbus has shuttered carryout store in the South of Hudson neighborhood after a history of criminal activity at the business.
According to Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, United Foodland, located on the 2200 of Summit Street, has been under investigation since late 2016. The owner, Khaled Hussein, and his employees have been charged at least 13 times for various crimes, including selling alcohol to underage individuals, receiving stolen property, food stamp fraud and tampering with evidence. Hussein was also allegedly involved in a knife fight with one of his employees in September of 2017.
“This establishment had the general reputation of being a place where alcohol, tobacco, food stamps and stolen property were being sold illegally,” Klein said in a press release. “It apparently also was a hostile work environment with the owner getting into a knife fight with one of his employees.”
Police served Hussein with nuisance abatement warning letters via certified mail in December 2016, January 2017 and February 2017. The letters outlined the potential consequences of continuing to allow illegal activity at the carryout. Record show Hussein received all the letters but did nothing to stop the pattern of criminal activity occurring at the establishment.
“There clearly was an consistent pattern of illegal activity occurring at this business since at least late 2016,” Assistant City Attorney Katrina Karac said. “It was particularly troubling that there was an abundance of college students, many of whom are under the legal drinking age, living nearby.
The city will seek a preliminary and permanent injunction against United Foodland at a follow-up hearing on April 18. If the court determines the property is a public nuisance, the court has the authority to close the business for up to one year. Hussein would also be prohibited from “conducting, maintaining, using, occupying, or in any way permitting” a public nuisance anywhere else in Franklin County.