Bar Owners File Lawsuit Against Neighbors, City Leaders
POSTED: Saturday, January 7, 2012 - 8:09pm
UPDATED: Monday, January 9, 2012 - 9:20am
EL PASO - Two local bar owners have had enough of what they call harassment. They filed lawsuits this week against El Paso city leaders and a group of neighbors.
Constitutional and civil rights violations, defamation, and business disparagement are just a few of the serious claims the bar owners are making against city leaders and local neighbors. Michael Armstrong, the owner of Three Legged Monkey in East El Paso, filed a lawsuit against four people who live near his bar. In the lawsuit, he claims the neighbors have lied to police, the city, and local media by claiming illegal activity and multiple city code violations were happening at his establishment. The lawsuit suggests the neighbors claims led to the city terminating his lease and forced local investors to back away from doing business with him. Now Armstrong wants the neighbors to pay up for the damages, he says, they cost him.
Now to the second lawsuit, this one filed by former bar owner David Cooper. He's suing the same neighbors, and also several city leaders, claiming their actions forced his bar, Dallas Nights, out of business. He claims the neighbors made similar lies about his bar and the city responded by conducting illegal police searches. He says officers were ordered to go in and conduct "bar checks," basically officers would go in and demand to see ID's from people inside the bar. The lawsuit claims, those "bar checks" prevented customers from coming back, because they felt harassed. He claims that ultimately led to less business for his establishment, and it forced him to close down his bar. Cooper also wants the neighbors, and the city, to pay up for his losses.
Both bar owners have told us they've never done anything wrong or been involved in any illegal activity. The city was closed Saturday, but their policy is not to comment on pending litigation. We attempted to call the neighbors for comment, but either they were not listed or their phone number was disconnected.