Superblock Trial: Judge rules Michael Chestnut must testify

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

The Honorable Joseph Dawson, III began proceedings on what is one of the most significant cases on private property rights in America.

Lawyers for the Plaintiffs and the Defendants chose a compromise today in the Myrtle Beach Superblock trial between the plaintiffs, Danny Group, LLC, Blazian Promotions & Company, LLC, and Hector Melendez and the defendants, John Pederson and the City of Myrtle Beach.

Lawyers mutually agreed that City Councilman Michael Chestnut will be the only Myrtle Beach City Councilman to testify in the Federal Court case.

The City’s Attorney, Mike Battle, filed a motion on Thursday requesting an exemption for all Myrtle Beach City Council Members.


The plaintiffs wanted to hear testimony from Myrtle Beach City Councilman Mike Lowder. Lowder signed a security contract with Israeli Noam Pyade to provide private security guards for the Pyade purchased properties, including the Fountain Bluea and the Oasis Motels.

Noam Pyade is currently running for Mayor of the City of Tel Aviv, Israel. He lived briefly in the City of Myrtle Beach acquiring properties in the exact locations on land the city desired. The merchants, who previously owned properties there, have claimed they were harassed and forced into selling.

Noam Pyade
Oasis Motel Owner, Noam Pyade purchased all in red above. The city later bought the properties in the 7th Avenue city square from Pyade at a $10 million profit. Like a vapor, Pyade then relocated to Israel, where he is running for Mayor of Tel Aviv.

As he is an Israeli National, the plaintiffs can not demand Pyade show up in an American court and give testimony.

How a 34 year old Israeli National was able to parachute into Myrtle Beach and purchase the very land the city desired is a question the Plaintiffs hope to uncover during this trial. Where Pyade got the upfront funds to make these purchases is unknown. Many of these harassed downtown owners sold to Pyade “owner financed” as they were under duress from the city at the time.


As MyrtleBeachSC News reported last week, Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune recently purchased historic property in the Superblock for $1.35 million. She was expected to give testimony during these proceedings. After our article went live last week, the city’s outside Myrtle Beach attorney, Mike Battle, pulled her name from those giving testimony.


Police Lights Super Block
Police lights flashed on property for hours each night with no incidents nor arrests, scaring off potential customers.

Henry and Virginia Brewington were each called to the witness stand by Tucker Player, the plaintiff’s attorney. Henry Brewington wept on the stand as he gave testimony about his $300,000 investment in Levelz Bar and Grill. Just months afterward, Brewington testified that then Myrtle Beach City Attorney, Tom Ellenburgh, called a meeting with Brewington telling him to pack his bags and head back home. Ellenburgh boasted of closing 14 bars in the city, telling Brewington his bar would be next.


In a related court matter, that the city is now appealing, Brewington was awarded a $500,000 settlement by a jury late July 2021.

According to those court documents, at the end of a three-day jury trial that began June 21, the jury reached a verdict finding the city of Myrtle Beach tortiously interfered with plaintiff Henry Brewington’s contract to sell Levelz Bar and Grill and awarded $500,000 in damages.

The Brewingtons stated a campaign was started to shut down certain businesses that were deemed “undesirable to the area,” the lawsuit stated.

According to court documents, those incidents included: notifying the fire marshal after a drink special that included sparklers in the beverage was sold; an officer advising the owners that the “word on the street” was a Conway shooting was linked to Levelz and then leaving; and police conducting multiple walkthroughs of the bar, with as many as 10 officers in the building at a time, and leaving as many as 10 patrol cars parked around the business with blue lights flashing from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. with no incidents reported nor police arrests.

In response to the harassment, the Brewingtons decided to sell the business, the lawsuit states. On Jan. 27, 2015, Natalie Litsey signed a contract of sale to purchase the business for approximately $150,000, according to court documents. The Brewingtons said they spoke with their landlord about transferring the lease and all parties were in agreement.

The lawsuit states that city officials contacted Litsey after learning of the sale and “interrogated her as to the business she intended to open in that location, what her relationship was to the Plaintiffs, whether she had the appropriate licenses, etc. and further misrepresented to Ms. Litsey that (Levelz) had been a problem location and that incidents that had occurred in proximity to their location were directly related to (the bar).”

Ultimately, Litsey decided not to proceed with purchasing the property and signed a release of agreement, court documents state.

On cross examination, City Attorney Mike Battle had no questions for any testifying today.

The Federal Court trial starts again for day two tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

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