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Dozens of locations off limits to Bragg troops

Posted June 3, 2009
Updated June 4, 2009

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— Soldiers at Fort Bragg are deployed to some of the most dangerous places in the world to defend America, but the Army won't allow the troops to go to more than 70 locations in central North Carolina because they're considered unsafe.

A list issued in March by the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board states that numerous mobile home parks between Angier and Lumberton, Fayetteville nightclubs and other businesses near Fort Bragg are off limits to soldiers because of crime and health concerns.

Bragg off-limits list Army warns soldiers to stay away from some locations

"At the end of the day, it's safer for the soldiers and families. I mean, that's really the issue," said Col. John Garrity, who heads the 11-member board. "It's not done with any purpose to harm a business."

The Jamaican Restaurant and Lounge, on North Main Street in Spring Lake, was added to the Army's blacklist this spring after a soldier was killed there.

Spc. Charles Clements, 27, who was based at Fort Hood, Texas, was fatally shot inside the club on March 29 – two days before the off-limts list was issued – after he defended a woman in a fight in the parking lot, authorities said. Arthur Mwebe, a Fort Bragg soldier, was wounded in the shooting.

Investigators said the man charged in the shooting is a violent drug dealer.

A bar on the off-limits list, The Palomino on Owen Drive in Fayetteville, was ordered closed by a judge in January following two fatal shootings within 12 months. Neither victim was a soldier.

The map below includes 42 of the sites on the off-limits list. Other sites don't include addresses or are encompassed under headings like "All unlicensed tattoo parlors."

View Off limits to soldiers in a larger map

Yahya Alsardi, who owns the J&J Fast Mart on Bragg Boulevard, has appealed to the Army to get his convenience store and gas station off the list.

"I don't consider (the store) dangerous," Alsardi said. "(We've) never been robbed, even though a lot of people think it's a rough neighborhood. But it's not as bad as people think."

Garrity said J&J Fast Mart was added to the list last year after Fayetteville police alerted the Army to a high volume of police calls there, including prostitution and drug distribution.

"They were concerned for soldiers," he said.

Alsardi said he has installed extra security cameras and has hired a Cumberland County deputy to patrol the property at night. But Garrity's board has denied his request to have J&J Fast Mart removed from the off-limits list.

"We lost a lot of business since the soldiers stopped coming to the store," Alsardi said.

Any soldier seen at an off-limits site would first be issued a warning, but subsequent violations could result in disciplinary action.

"They can be fined. They can be restricted to their barracks room. They can lose their off-post privileges," Garrity said.

He acknowledged that restricting soldiers from an establishment can seriously impact a business.

"There are some that just had to close their doors because a significant population of soldiers used them, and that population went away. So, they were unable to continue to do business," he said.

A WRAL News crew, for example, twice found the doors to the Jamaican Restaurant locked during business hours recently.

Mickey's Bar & Grill, a Bragg Boulevard nightclub, has posted a sign proclaiming, "Mickey's not off limits to military."

Some soldiers said they support the off-limits list.

"As leaders, you're responsible for your soldiers' on- and off-duty activity. Soldiers need to be fit – fit to fight," Master Sgt. Ian Cabe said.

"They're trashy places anyway. No need for you to be there," Spc. Bryan Curella said.


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  • raldude Jun 4, 2009

    I didn't realize there were so many trailer parks still in existence. Is it trailer parks in general or are there some that have higher standards?

  • They call me CATMAN Jun 4, 2009

    When I was in the Navy the Navy base where ever I was stationed had a list of places not to go. I think it is a good idea myself the places on the list were area's where you would not go (High Drug Area's where Ladies of the evening hungout. High Crime area's) This is nothing new.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jun 4, 2009

    This is news to me and I'm glad they reported it, especially in light of the shooting last month of that soldier who defended that lady.

  • FoxtrotUniformCharlieKiloakaCALM Jun 4, 2009

    Well, when certain people live in certain places, it's always a rough neighborhood when the gang mentality and prositution runs the town.

  • GWALLY Jun 4, 2009

    Nothing news worthy here....every base I was ever stationed at in the US and Overseas has and has had for decades an off limit listing of local ripoff's and unsafe areas. Aparently the reporter here has never been in the military or is very naive. As far as the owners complaints about losing business.....it's up to them to clean up their own business if the want the military $$$'s.

  • lilreno is in the wind Jun 4, 2009

    You mess with me and you mess with the whole trailer park....lol

  • Bon Viveur Jun 4, 2009

    I think those private residences are lived in by some fierce drag queens I know. No wonder the military has them listed as a taboo location. One evening with one of those lovely seductive transvestites and those young virile men would be AWOL for sure.

  • boomylar Jun 4, 2009

    I know in 2007 USA Discounters was on the list bc they rip you off. They're like, well heres a check (rebate) its yours to keep. But then in the end you are paying 2 1/2 times the amount that the stuff cost.

  • boomylar Jun 4, 2009

    This really doesn't shock me. The Marines do the same thing here in Jacksonville. You can look in the Globe and see the list. But I was surprised to see apartments and stuff up there. wonder what thats about

  • nerdlywehunt Jun 4, 2009

    Sounds to me like the local police and county sheriff are not doing their jobs! I am sure they have the man power to stop speeders so why not let them clean up some of the vermin instead.