I spoke with an Alley Katz insider today, who agreed to talk to me on the condition of anonymity. I’ll refer to to this person as “Trace.”
Trace said that Alley Katz is getting a bad rap (no pun intended) and that most of the trouble is spread out on the 1300 block of North Federal, where several assaults and shootings have been reported in recent months.
Trace blames Mason City police for driving away all the business at Alley Katz. “No one wants to come in a bar and hang out with the police,” Trace said. “They want the bar shut down because people there like to listen to hip hop music.”
Trace explained that all the trouble with Alley Katz originated with the so-called “D-Boyz.” Trace said almost all the D-Boyz are finally banned from Alley Katz, but they still live nearby, clustered in two locations withing a block or two of the troubled bar.
I asked Trace what the D-Boyz are really like. Are they real “gangsters” or just outcast troublemakers from big cities like Detroit?
“About half of them are real killers and drug dealers who are fleeing unsolved crimes in Detroit, they want to avoid the heat until things die down,” Trace explained. Trace said the other half are just “wannabes.” Trace said the D Boyz move in on “stupid white girls” who let them move into their house or apartment and then they sell dope from there. Once they wear out their welcome, they move on to the next place.
“Here’s what’s really going on,” Trace said. “The other media try to portray that all the trouble is isolated at Alley Katz. That’s not true. There’s never any trouble inside Alley Katz. It is always outside.”
Trace explained that the D-Boyz “watch” the area and pick targets to “jump.” “It starts with rivals from other cities,” Trace said. “If they can’t find any of them, they will jump locals.”
At about 12:30 AM one night a couple of weeks ago, I spoke with an older gentleman in a parking lot across the street from Alley Katz who told me about the night he was “jumped” on North Federal. He too refused to be interviewed on camera but nonetheless told me his story. The short version is that as he walked on North Federal through the parking lot just north of Northside Liquor, a young African-American male approached him and asked him for money. When the older gentleman refused, the young man said “how about I just take your watch.” The older man said “you can try.” The older man claims that a knife was pulled by the young man, and he showed me two large healing scars on his forearms where he says he defended himself from an attack that ensued. The police were called, and the older man says he was given a citation for public intoxication; the younger man had fled the scene. The older man said police made no attempt to investigate his injuries.
At this time, the Mason City Council has decided to send a letter to Alley Katz owner Kathy Hebel, stating an ultimatum: Reduce the number of police visits or your liquor license will not be renewed.
Time will tell if the bar can survive.