Restaurant Owner Alleges More Harassment By City Of McKinney
McKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) – Last week CBS 11 News reported on a story about claims of harassment by a restaurant owner and a temporary restraining order against the City of McKinney.
The court granted Ron Reynolds, the owner of Hank’s Texas Grill, a restraining order against the McKinney Police Department and others. The order was based on Reynolds harassment and intimidation accusations against the city.
Today the restaurant came forward with more evidence that they say proves their case.
An anonymous 911 call, made from a pay phone in Aubrey, recently sent McKinney police to Hank’s Texas Grill. A customer at the establishment also captured the incident on cell phone video.
The police call on Friday evening came just days after Reynolds obtained a restraining order to keep McKinney’s police, fire and code enforcement off his property.
“After reviewing all the videos of what they did its very obvious to me that there was no bomb threat and they knew it,” Reynolds said of the response by local law enforcement.
Reynolds believes the bomb threat was an orchestrated effort to bring police back into his restaurant on a busy night, drive away customers and help drive him out of business.
“We had 150 customers that left our restaurant [with] children crying, parents grabbing their children and running out of the restaurant,” he recalled. “It hurt our business. It gives us a bad reputation that things like that are going on and we think it was done deliberately.”
McKinney’s police chief, city manager and fire chief have been ordered into court to explain their actions, which they insist, were justified despite the temporary restraining order to stay away.
McKinney City Manager Jason Gray said, “We understand and appreciate the TRO (temporary restraining order) that’s in place. However the TRO does allow for emergency response and that’s what we were doing.”
Hank’s Texas Grill had been operating at the same location for 10 years, when suddenly last moth the business was hit with 80 code violations, despite good health scores and no complaints.
Among other things, the city made claims that beer banners, animal heads and a large state flag were fire and safety hazards.
Reynolds says it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make all of the changes required by the violations, which also include repainting the restaurant parking lot.
Referring back to the bomb threat incident, Reynolds says the fact that police officer’s didn’t evacuate the restaurant or search it thoroughly at the time of the incident proves that their latest appearance at Hank’s Texas Grill was just another example of harassment and intimidation by the city.
Wednesday’s court hearing over whether the city violated the temporary restraining order was postponed until next week.