‘A public nuisance’: Fulton Deli shuttered by city

The Fulton Market, at 316 Fulton St., in Dover, had its business license revoked due to
“nuisance concerns.” (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — The Fulton Market has drawn its fair share of criticism in the past stemming from accusations of drug and criminal activity running rampant around the store.

Those accusations became reality on July 31 when four people — including Wadeea Albaadani, the market’s owner — were arrested at the market in July on drug violations.

Subsequently, Dover City Planner Dave Hugg made the decision to revoke the businesses’ license at an Aug. 10 hearing due to “nuisance concerns.”

John Malik, an attorney representing the Fulton Market’s owner, presented arguments in favor of the Fulton Market during the August public hearing.

However, it appears as if the owner of the troubled market has decided to give up on any efforts to re-open the business, as it now sits shuttered at 316 Fulton Street.

Mr. Malik decided to withdraw an appeal of the store’s business license revocation, which prompted the cancellation of a Sept. 13 special meeting of Dover City Council, effectively permanently closing the business.

Mr. Hugg said he had several reasons for his decision to label the Fulton Deli a nuisance property.

“The basis for my decision was based on the sale of illegal drugs combined with various building and safety violations that city staff found at the market,” Mr. Hugg said. “Based on the evidence presented I felt it was a public nuisance.

“That’s what they were going to appeal to city council, but they decided not to. They didn’t give us a reason why, they just decided not to continue.”

The Fulton Market became the second property in downtown Dover to be stripped of its business license in recent years, joining the Dover Elks Lodge No. 1125 at 217 N. Kirkwood St. as a “nuisance property.”

The Pride of Dover Elks Lodge was shut down in early January 2017 by city and state officials due to “nonconforming use.”.

As for the Fulton Market, a city of Dover health and fire inspection following the arrests revealed several violations in the building involving things like power outlets, use of extension cords and a fire suppression system, along with a shipment of raw chicken left on the floor.

Mr. Hugg’s decision to close the market came just a couple weeks after police arrested four people in connection to a drug investigation at the deli on July 31.

Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman, spokesman for the Dover Police Department, said police conducted a search warrant that day at the Fulton Market, which led to the arrest of Walter Morris, 27, after finding him in possession of a counterfeit controlled substance, crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

Daekwon Tilghman, 22, was arrested after being found in possession of a counterfeit controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. Mohamed Albaadani, a 15-year-old employee, was also arrested for selling drug paraphernalia.

Mr. Albaadani, the 39-year-old owner of the business, came to the Dover Police Department shortly after the arrests were made and was also charged with selling drug paraphernalia.

Dover police had been observing the Fulton Market during a probe into the possible sale of drugs at the establishment.

“It was a constant source of call for our area, not necessarily just for the deli, but the area around it was a popular spot to loiter at and there have been issues with criminal activity there,” Master Cpl. Hoffman said. “We were monitoring (the market) and it was an area that we frequently patrol just for known issues.”

Mr. Hugg said that he could have ordered a probationary action against Mr. Albaadani but decided to shut the business down completely due to its history as a nuisance property.

“The second and more serious of the determinations is when activities rise to the level of a public nuisance,” Mr. Hugg said. “When it reaches a point to where there is an imminent threat to public safety and welfare, we need to take action.

“Basically, that’s what I did.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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