One of the victims who was shot at the Rolladium skating rink in Waterford Township last year has filed a lawsuit targeting the establishment and the company that hosted the event.
Jaclyn Anne Williams was shot in the calf on Dec. 23 at the Rolladium, located at 4475 Highland Road. At the time, the rink was being used for a private pre-Christmas skating party. The three-hour party was hosted by Lee F. Grayer Jr., the promoter of his entertainment group, Guap Money Entertainment, according to the lawsuit filed on Williams’ behalf by attorney Louis Corey.
Three male suspects allegedly entered the building and fired handguns from the snack bar area out onto the skating floor area. Police have identified the trio of suspects: Robert German, Tre-andis Jamison, and Cheyenne Ingram. Only German remains at large.
All three are facing 14 felony charges, including assault with intent to murder; possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony; carrying concealed weapons; and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
During the investigation, police discovered that the shooting stemmed from two rival gangs out of Pontiac, one known as the “Goon Squad” and the “1st Enfantry.” One of the victims shot reportedly was an intended target and a rival of the shooters.
In addition to Williams, four others were struck during the shootout at the Rolladium.
According to the lawsuit, German, Jamison and Ingram exited the building and “were allowed to re-enter the premises armed with handguns.”
“The Rolladium was open to the public and a lot of kids and people unrelated to this party were there,” Corey said. “There was trouble during the night and no one did anything to protect the public, so what do you think is going to happen?
The suspects “proceeded to open fire on the crowd, including those involved with the event and those not affiliated with the event,” he said.
“There were incidents on the floor — a telltale sign of trouble and they should have shut the rink down,” Corey added. “These individuals proceeded to come in and began shooting up the place after a fracas.”
A man answering the phone at the Rolladium said the owner was out of town and that he wasn’t in a position to comment on the lawsuit.
A phone number for Grayer had been disconnected.
The suit also asserts that the Rolladium acted negligently by “harboring criminal activity and profiting from that activity by allowing and receiving payment from defendant Lee Grayer Jr. and Guap Money Entertainment to host an event at Rolladium, Inc. that promoted gang fighting and violence.”
According to the lawsuit, $600 was paid for renting the space at the Rolladium that night.
The suit also states that both defendants failed to recognize that the event hosted by both defendants would involve members of the two rival gangs and that this “posed a foreseeable risk of criminal acts to patrons.”
“From the get-go, if you’re going to lease out a portion (of a facility) to a private party, you should do some investigation beforehand,” Corey said. “This was a separate party incorporated within the program that night hired out by the owners. My client was simply there with friends rollerblading.”
Moreover, the Rolladium is also accused of “failing to promptly contact the proper authorities once the gang fighting and violence had begun on the premises,” as well as “failing to terminate and/or suspend business activities once the gang violence and fighting commenced.”
Williams is seeking more than $25,000 in damages and reimbursement for medical expenses exclusive of interest, costs, and attorney fees. Her injuries are cited as physical pain, emotional and physiological pain and suffering, loss of income, fright and shock, and denial of social pleasures and enjoyments.
“She has a huge scar and residual problems — she has pain and physical limitations,” Corey said.
The two defendants are accused of putting patrons at risk by “promoting gang fighting and violence,” and “failing to provide an adequate security force for the event.”