EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The El Paso County Attorney’s office has obtained a temporary restraining order against a Central El Paso bar that has allegedly been a recurrent source of criminal activity since 2019.
“Cantina Cazadores” was closed temporarily Friday afternoon after a district court judge approved a temporary restraining order against the bar and its owner, Maria Velazquez, according to the El Paso County Attorney’s office.
According to the El Paso County Attorney’s office, the lawsuit further alleges that although the criminal conduct and other violations have been brought to the owner’s attention, they have not taken action to stop the criminal activity or follow TABC rules.
According to affidavits from agents with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), some of the violations include continuous criminal activity, a failure to report police activity at the bar as requested by the TABC, allowing minors to drink, narcotics being sold in the establishment and violent criminal activity.
The County Attorney’s office adds the defendants have also shown resistance to assist law enforcement in order to diminish the activity and instead have employed staff that sell drugs and have failed to provide diligent security.
A review of calls to 911 for law enforcement service to Cantina Cazadores from January 2021 through December 2022 show 84 calls requesting law enforcement and or fire/EMS services, according to court documents.
The County Attorney’s office also adds during 2019, there were three violent aggravated assaults with deadly weapons at the bar. In 2021, there were five aggravated assaults committed with deadly weapons, and one murder. In 2022, there were 6 assaults, 2 crimes involving firearms, one case of a minor consuming alcohol, reports of overserved patrons, and evidence of drug deals.
The Temporary Restraining Order was approved late Thursday by the 41st District Court Judge Annabel Perez and the bar will remain closed until February 21, 2023, when the court will conduct a hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order should be made a temporary injunction pending a full trial on the merits.