NEW INFO: Sandwich Shop Raided, Two Arrested after Bond Revoked

By: Rahel Solomon Email
By: Rahel Solomon Email
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UPDATE 8/14/13 @ 4:15 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The owners of a troubled sandwich shop on Charleston's west side are back behind bars.

Rodney Armstrong and Emma Laughlin were arrested Wednesday afternoon.

They were on out of jail on bond. Their bonds were revoked because police say they caught them again selling alcohol without a license.

The pair was first charged after a shooting outside of Ms. Sylvia's Sandwich Shop and Polo Social Club last month.

They were arrested again this weekend after a raid where police found alcohol, guns and drugs.

Laughlin tells, "I'm ready for the confidential informant that made the statement, when we have our day in court. We'd be putting our life in danger, so why would we have a gun in there?"

Armstrong and Laughlin have been evicted from the building where they operate the sandwich shop. They have to be out by the end of the month.

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UPDATE 8/11/13 @ 9:45 p.m.
A popular sandwich shop in North Charleston is back in trouble with police after an early morning raid at Ms Sylvia's Sandwich Shop and Polo Social Club.

That restaurant is the same place police say a man was shot in early July. Shortly after that incident police charged the two managers, Rodney Armstrong and Emma Laughlin (McNeal), with illegally selling alcohol.

Sunday morning at about five, police forcefully entered the business on Washington Street West and tell they found alcohol, guns, drugs and thousands of dollars in cash.

Four people were arrested including the two managers-- Armstrong and Laughlin. Both are charged with the illegal sale of alcohol. Attempts to reach the couple Sunday were unsuccessful.

Police also arrested John Robinson and Anwar Keaton and charged them with obstruction.

Neighbors tell since the business opened, the police calls have become more frequent. The crowds have gotten larger and neighbors are becoming fearful of what’s next for the business.

“It's not comfortable laying your head down at night not knowing what's going to happen,” neighbor Edison Neal said.

“Hopefully this will solve the problem now that we have charged them for the second time,” Lt. Steve Cooper of the Charleston Police Department said.

Armstrong and Laughlin are scheduled in court Tuesday after the owner of the building where Ms. Sylvia’s is located filed for an emergency eviction.

UPDATE 8/11/13 @ 6:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Four people were arrested Sunday morning when police raided Sylvia's Sandwich Shop in Charleston.

The owners of the shop have previously been accused of illegally selling alcohol, and numerous neighbors have complained. So Sunday morning, police searched the place.

Inside, police say they found drugs, guns, alcohol and thousands of dollars in cash.

Officers arrested Rodney Ray Armstrong and Emma Laughlin in connection with selling alcohol without a license.

They also arrested John Robinson and Anwar Keaton and charged them with obstruction.

The search happened at the shop at 2401 Washington Street, about 5 a.m.

Police say two officers were hurt during a scuffle with two of the people arrested. They both suffered minor injuries.

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UPDATE 7/8/13 @ 6:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Rodney Armstrong and Emma McNeal tell all they want to do is sell sandwiches and have a good time.

The two manage Ms. Sylvia's Sandwich Shop and Pool Tables along Washington Street West -- the same place police said a man was shot in the shoulder early Sunday morning.

Armstrong and McNeal claim the shooting did not happen outside their restaurant and said their patrons had nothing to do with it. However, it was the shooting and a witness statement that led police to the business Sunday afternoon with a search warrant.

Police arrested the two shortly after on charges of illegally selling alcohol without a permit.

“We allow them to come, have a good time.They're entitled to bring their own liquor, but me being responsible, I don't let them bring it out,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong and McNeal now face a misdemeanor charge for the illegal sale of alcohol.

The couple admitted they don't have a liquor license but said they do have a social club permit -- where members pay to come enjoy themselves and sometimes that involves drinks.

When asked why not apply for a liquor license, Armstrong said, “It comes with more responsibility, with more obligation. I didn't want the liquor license. I wanted somewhere where my members could bring their own liquor and I be responsible to make sure they don't ride around with open containers.”

According to police, the victim of Sunday’s shooting is expected to survive.

No suspects have been named in that shooting.

Keep clicking on for the latest information.

UPDATE 7/7/13 @ 8:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va.—Two restaurant managers are under arrest after a shooting outside their restaurant Sunday morning.

Police tell Emma Laughlin and Rodney Armstrong, the managers of Sylvia’s Sandwich Shop and Pool Tables, were arrested Sunday for the illegal sale of alcohol.

The charges came the same day as a shooting at the 2401 West Washington Street business.

During that shooting, police said the suspect fired off four to six shots into the crowded restaurant.

One of the bullets hit Terrance Wilson, 24 of Detroit, in his shoulder. Wilson is expected to survive his injuries.

Charleston Police executed a search warrant at the business Sunday afternoon after a witness statement led police to believe the business was illegally selling alcohol.

“I am not surprised, I saw it coming,” neighbor Audi Vance said. “It wasn't a matter of whether it was going to come but when.”

Charleston police confiscated trunk loads of alcohol bottles from the business Sunday. The business does not have a permit to sell alcohol.

Neighbors tell Sylvia’s Sandwich Shop has been a nuisance since it moved into the area three months ago.

“You can even sit out here and hear the music, they blare the music,” Vance said.

Dispatchers confirm neighbors have called police more than 20 times since the business opened. The complaints range from noise complaints to property destruction.

“This particular spot has attracted a crowd that has now escalated into violence and we're investigating that as we speak and investigating the premises,” Lt. Steve Cooper, Chief of Detectives said Sunday during a press conference.

Police confirm the business was operating as a bootleg bar, which could lead to the business being shut down in the future.

UPDATE: 7/7/13 @ 6:35 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two business owners are being arrested after a shooting that happened outside their restaurant.

Charleston Police say Emma Laughlin and Rodney Armstrong were arrested Sunday evening in connection with selling alcohol illegally.

The two own Ms. Sylvia's Sandwich Shop on Charleston's west side.

A man was shot outside the shop early Sunday morning; leading police to investigate the business.

The victim, Terrance Wilson, 24, from Detroit was taken to the hospital, but is expected to be okay.

Detectives have not yet identified who pulled the trigger.

Keep clicking on for the latest information.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An early-morning shooting on Charleston's west side sent one man to the hospital.

Charleston Police say about 6 a.m. Sunday, four to six shots were fired outside Ms. Sylvia's Restaurant on Washington Street West.

Police say Terrance Wilson, 24, from Detroit was hit by a bullet in his shoulder.

Wilson was taken to the hospital, but is expected to be okay.

At this time, police do not have any suspects or persons of interest. They are however, looking for surveillance video from the area to help with their search.

Keep clicking on for the latest information.

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