EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Just days after a recent Cincinnati Street shooting, the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office filed a civil lawsuit against the Rockin ‘Cigar Bar & Grill to shut down the business for good.
The lawsuit cites an interview between El Paso police and a suspect linking the bar to the November 21 shooting. The maintenance officer spoke to a 20-year-old serviceman who said he had been drinking at the bar.
The bar is one of many businesses that military personnel are not allowed to visit, according to a list provided in the lawsuit.
“A physical altercation occurred inside the bar and brought outside, where someone was shot,” the quote reads.
On Tuesday, the county attorney’s office filed a complaint against the bar and obtained a restraining order against the company the next day. The court-ordered shutdown has been a big blow to bar business, as Thanksgiving Eve is a busy night for bars across the country.
The bar will remain closed until an injunction hearing in early December where a court will decide whether the company can open.
The county attorney’s office said there were 65 documented incidents recorded by law enforcement that allegedly violated Texas Alcoholic Beverages Commission rules and regulations. In addition, the prosecutor’s offices claim that the bar’s property has failed to take measures to curb the nuisance and alleges that the bar condones violations and other illegal acts.
A review of calls to the Rockin ‘Cigar Bar shows that out of 111 calls for service between February 1, 2018 and November 18, 2021, 57 were made to the El Paso Police Department. And, eight calls were made to the fire department
“Rockin ‘Cigar Bar & Grill is a place people usually go for the purpose of committing crimes.
which are common nuisance activities, ”said the lawsuit.
There are various references to assaults and fights starting at the bar listed in the trial. And, according to law enforcement, the bar is frequently visited by the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, an organization identified to be involved in gang activity.
And, investigators allege that employees sold drugs, customers drugged drinks and minors were served alcohol under his roof.
Frank Ricci, the owner of the bar, disputes the claims of the county prosecutor and declares that his file and that of his company and his employees are “clean”.
“We intend to defend ourselves in court,” he told KTSM 9 News.
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