One of the owners of the Station Bistro and Lounge in Roseville said police were motivated by politics when they arrested him. For years the restaurant fought with authorities over entertainment permits, but restaurant owners said the city didn't fight fair.
In a new lawsuit, Len Travis claims the Roseville Police Department violated his rights. He said it followed a pattern of harassment over whether he could have dancing at his restaurant.
"Carted me across the floor in handcuffs and shut the place down," Travis said.
Travis said when he was arrested, he began to feel chest pains and asked an officer for help.
"I was ignored," Travis said. "I asked for it again, and I said, 'I really need water and an aspirin,' and he said, 'when I finish, I'll call the paramedics for you.'"
He ended up spending nearly five hours at the hospital after his arrest.
Travis said his arrest in late 2012 was a culmination of his fight with the city and police over an entertainment ordinance. He said he let his customers take to the dance floor for salsa night, but that violated a court order prohibiting dancing. Travis said the city's redevelopment agency wanted to move the restaurant from its current location at 1100 Orlando Ave. to the entertainment district in Downtown Roseville and Old Town.
"They wouldn't give us a dance permit because they said we were in a zone that didn't permit dancing," Travis said.
Travis eventually joined a statewide movement that wanted redevelopment agencies across the state to be dissolved. He voiced his support for the movement by putting up a sign.
"They didn't bother us until we put the sign up that said 'Support the Governor, eliminate redevelopment agencies, start with Roseville's,'" Travis said. "And from that point forward, we were completely harassed."
Eventually, the California Supreme Court put the agencies out of business, but Travis said some city leaders held a grudge against him and used the police to lean on him.
"It was the planning and redevelopment director who wanted us out of here, and there were several people in the city who supported that contrary to what the city's own regulations were," Travis said. "And they were covering their rear ends."
Travis said he was sometimes cited two to three times a week for allowing dancing.
"I want to see people know what really happened and why I was arrested because it destroyed our business," Travis said. "We lost 80 percent of our business from that day forward."
News10 asked the city for a response, but they said they haven't had time to study the matter yet.
Travis said since this incident he has been free to have dancing at the Station throughout the week, and he's in the process of rebuilding the business.