UPDATE 3: City looks to shut the doors on Fathom
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – Tim Reid, operator of Club Fathom says he's not the problem, it's the gangs in the city giving his "church" a bad name.
"We need to treat them like what they are. They are criminals," Reid says. "They are causing so much corruption in downtown and I too want to see it stop."
City attorneys filed paperwork Wednesday morning asking a judge for permission to pad lock the doors and stop Reid from going near the property.
Mayor Ron Littlefield says Fathom is a problem and police records back his claim.
Channel 3 confirmed more than two-dozen assault charges over a 5 year period stemming from parties there.
The mayor says this is not a church.
"Mr. Reid might think he is deceiving the community, maybe himself, but he isn't deceiving me," Littlefield says.
The city also wants to put a stop to a New Year's Eve party Reid intends to have.
Mayor LIttlefield says, "I can't understand how a so-called church would think it is wise to go forward with the event after last week."
That's when gun shots turned an otherwise silent night into Christmas chaos.
Nine people were shot, even though Reid says he hired 8 security guards and two off-duty police officers.
"We had security. I feel like they were safe. We were ambushed," says Reid.
Reid argues his church parties are reaching kids at a crossroads with gang violence.
"These kids walking away from gangs have targets on their heads," says Reid.
Mayor Littlefield says keeping the door opens adds to the problems.
"You are inviting all sorts of people who have everything other than a religious agenda," Littlefield says.
Wounded in the gunfire were:
Thomas Armstrong, 18, gunshot wound to the left knee
Juane Joseph, 18, gunshot wound to the upper left leg
Keontae Howard, 29, gunshot wound to the left shoulder
Charquell Appling, 19, gunshot wound to the right thigh
Five juveniles were also wounded the gunfire. Chattanooga Police as a police of not identifying underage victims.
The city says that since the Christmas day shootings, the club has begun promoting a New Year's Eve Party, "for which [Club Fathom] intended to charge $5.00 and have encouraged participants to "B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bottle) or bring their own alcoholic beverages to consume with ‘other provided refreshments.'"
"B.Y.O.B. means bring-your-own-Bible," Reid told reporters Tuesday. "We don't serve alcohol, or allow alcohol to be served at Mosaic-Fathom events. We do rent our facilities for private use, and the caterers may serve alcohol."
The city argues that Club Fathom doesn't have the business license to operate as a teen club and should be prohibited from continuing to operate as such.
The brief adds that Chattanooga "will suffer irreparable harm if [the injunction] is not granted."