PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — South Philadelphia neighbors are talking about Tuesday night’s prostitution raid at The Downtowners Mummers Club. Ten women and three men face various prostitution and liquor offenses.
Folks who live near the Mummers clubhouse at 2nd Street and Snyder Avenue are speculating about the people involved.
Neighbors say the most surprising aspect was that they had no idea prostitution was allegedly taking place at the Downtowners Club the second Tuesday of every month. Many people thought it was business as usual.
“I mean I would just see people go in there for their meetings. There were never girls going in and out of there,” one neighbor told KYW Newsradio.
Many people are surprised about the discovery.
One resident says, “It’s like a whole shock to the whole community around here!”
A local says she’s disappointed about what this could do to the mummers reputation. “Nobody wants to throw funding into an establishment that is black lined with prostitution. I’m sure this is going to make bigger news than just South Philly, so it’s bad business!”
The Mummer’s Association released the following statement in response to the arrests:
“This was not a Mummers’ prostitution ring nor a Downtowners Fancy Brigade prostitution ring. All in the Mummers community are shocked by the alleged behavior of the individuals who rented out the Downtowners’ Hall. Many mummers clubs rent out their clubhouses, as the Downtowners do, to people and organizations, and this appeared to be just another routine rental. If the allegations are true, the Mummers and the Downtowners organization are as much victims of this as anyone else. The Downtowners Fancy Brigade is cooperating fully with the Philadelphia Police Department to get to the bottom of exactly what happened. If it is determined that any members of the Downtowners were involved, it was most definitely without the knowledge or approval of the club itself, and any such individuals will also be subject to discipline from the club as well. The leadership of the Downtowners has already decided that any club rental paid by these individuals will be donated to charity.”
Reported by Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio