Tales from No Zoning
Bier Haus vs. Condos, round 1: Court says leave each other alone
Warring Rice Village neighbors got their day in court on Wednesday. After a history of harrassment, relations between Hans' Bier Haus owners and patrons and the residents next door at the 2520 Robinhood condos hit a fever pitch in December. After a three-hour hearing, judge Patricia Hancock granted the temporary injunction sought by Hans' Bier Haus owners Bill Cave and Paul Kellogg, but stipulated that the injunction would be mutual, barring both sides from entering the other's premises and admonishing them to "stay out of each others' face until we have a permanent injunction."
Cave and Kellogg have also filed a lawsuit against the condominium association, the management company and three residents, Robert Souders, Mark Theusen and Richard Booker.
Testimony in the injunction hearing, as reported by InstantNewsWestU.com reporter Angela Grant, included a lot of what has already been reported, plus a few new juicy details. Cave answered questions from his lawyer about the events of Dec. 13, when a hose from the condo building soaked Hans' patio during a live music set, causing destruction and mayhem. “I was fearful. I was fearful for the band, my customers. The water was everywhere,” Cave testified.
Cave admitted he dragged concierge Reggie McGowan by his necktie to the elevator in an attempt to get the water turned off, for which he is facing separate assault charges. However the concierge McGowan's testimony was not entirely helpful to the condo defendants. After telling how he feared that Cave "was forcing me to the roof to pitch me off the roof," McGowan said once he understood what Cave wanted, “I said 'Oh, I understand. I can take care of that.' I had already picked up the hose Wednesday morning of that week.”
Adding a new twist to the story was former condo employee Alton Smith, who was fired two days after the incident after run-ins with Theusen and Booker, who are both on the condo association's board of directors, which has the power to make personnel decisions. Smith testified that he had seen the hose positioned to douse the Bier Haus at least twice before the incident, and that after his dismissal he told Cave and Kellogg all he knew about who was responsible.
Defendants' attorney Gary DeSerio added some fireworks of his own, at one point accidentally knocking a pitcher of water over in front of the judge and repeatedly bringing up bad acts such as noise violations by the bar when cross-examining Cave, Smith and questioning his own witnesses, though opposing attorney Kenneth Ward objected that the allegations lacked relevance and Judge Hancock agreed. The injunction bars the entire condo assoiation, condo owners and renters from throwing any item or water on the bar.
Dates for the permanent injunction hearing and lawsuit have not been released.