Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jason Martin's Prepared Statement on Sticky Rice Events NYE 2012

Done! by Madame Meow
Done!, a photo by Madame Meow on Flickr
Below is the complete prepared statement that Sticky Rice owner Jason Martin read during the July 24th Show Cause Hearing regarding the NYE incident that resulted in the ejection of two ABRA investigators from the establishment. Mr. Martin kindly provided me with a copy of this statement. I previously wrote about the entire affair, and the original post has a link to the full 237 page hearing transcript (it's actually a pretty quick read). The full transcript not only contains the statement below, but also Mr. Martin's answers given on cross examination. It also contains the full testimony and cross, of the two ABRA investigators. As I said, please read my earlier post for full context.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing regarding investigation #13-CMP-00012 from January 1, 2013 for Beehive LLC. I would like to go on record stating that the investigators report is not accurate and is leaving out some key material as to why I asked security to escort the two gentlemen out of Sticky Rice. I would like to take this opportunity to provide my account of the incident and clear up some pertinent details.

On January 1 at approximately 2:15am I was alerted by staff that two ABRA investigators would like to speak with the manager on duty.  I introduced myself as the owner of the restaurant.  For some reason—perhaps because they were nearing the end of an undoubtedly long night—the two men met me with very high-energy, acting aggressive and agitated.  It was at this point that I asked the first gentleman (Mr. Apraku) for identification.  Mr. Apraku showed me a black wallet which housed a badge, but no photo identification.  I then asked the second gentleman (Mr. Jones) for his identification he quickly flashed a wallet housing a badge and photo ID of someone who was clearly not him.  I attempted to obtain a closer look at the Identification but was told that I need to remove my hands from the ID.  I complied but after seeing the clearly false identification, I was left with heightened anxiety about the potentially dangerous situation I could be dealing with, such as two random men using tactics to gain access to a back room or office. I was also particularly concerned by the false identification which was shown to me because I knew Sticky Rice was in compliance with paying for extended operating hours on New Year’s Eve and was not sure why any real ABRA official would not already had record of this.

Making sure that security was close I escorted the two men to the second floor sushi bar where the license was displayed in a picture frame.  Due to the fact that there is an entrance to the office located behind the sushi bar, I extended my arm and said “wait right here.”

After retrieving the frame with my ABRA license and putting it on the bar where the two men verified that I did have the extended license to stay open until 4:00am, I asked to see Mr. Jones’ identification one more time.  He complied and when I held his photo ID up for a comparison to who was standing in front of me, it was clearly not him.  I exclaimed: “That is not you! The photo is of someone else!”  Mr. Jones attempted to take back the false credentials, which I allowed him to do after I looked at the photo a third time and stated, “that is a fake ID.”  They claimed that their credentials were real, but with one man showing no valid government photo ID and the second man showing that of a third man (later to be identified as Mr. Stewart), I was still unsure of who they were and I asked them to leave the building since I had fully complied with their requests to view the license. 

The two gentlemen informed me that I was not allowed to ask them to leave, which further intimidated me and left me feeling extremely uncomfortable about who these men were and what they wanted.  I responded: “You have now seen my license and that I am allowed to stay open until 4:00am and you have shown me a fake ID, please leave.” They refused, resulting in my calling for security to remove them from the building, which is what my security personnel did. 

Approximately 45 minutes later, they returned with a third gentleman who informed me that he was their supervisor (Mr. Stewart).  I asked to see his credentials and when he produced them for me, I found that the photo ID was in fact Mr. Stewart but it was also the exact same photo ID that Mr. Jones had presented to me earlier.  I asked “why he would present me with someone else’s ID?”  Mr. Jones attempted to speak but Mr. Stewart stopped him and said “Please be quiet.”  Mr. Stewart then assured me that their credentials were real and that I was not allowed to interfere with an ABRA investigation, to which I tried to explain to Mr. Stewart that without proper Identification I did not know who they were and this was not alright.

To further put this incident into perspective and how I was approaching it as a seasoned business owner, I would like to point out that if a random patron gained access to my establishment and then presented a fake ID, particularly late at night on a busy holiday, I would have asked them to leave immediately.  Furthermore, if they refused, I would not hesitate to have my security staff remove them from the building.

I am not trying to accuse the ABRA investigators of intentionally trying to deceive me, as it is possible that maybe Mr. Jones simply grabbed the wrong wallet and badge and was not aware until I pointed it out, but it does not make it any more acceptable on the receiving end of it.  In hindsight, I should have called 911 immediately, told them that someone claiming to be an ABRA investigator showed me false credentials, and asked MPD to come investigate.  At the time, however, I felt as though I was being proactive in handling the situation by showing the men what they wanted and reducing the possibility of a scary incident.

Thank you,

Jason Martin


Anonymous said...

This sounds really serious.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is completely different from the report of the other side. Sounds like it was a bad event for everyone involved.

Are there typically late night inspections? It seems like there should be a good protocol that is followed for these types of events with the unpredictability that can occur at that time.

Anonymous said...

In retrospect a valuable lesson was learned. If your not sure of someone's identity call 911.

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha
On New Year's Eve?
At 1:30 in the Morning?
Uhmmm....how long would it be before the police
arrived? To watch your employees be shot in the head or to clean the pools of blood from the floor?

hoodie allen said...

No one is going to use fake ABRA IDs to commit an armed robbery. You just pull out your guns and commit the robbery. Y'all need to stop watching CSI, this is DC, goons don't use fake IDs to rob people. LOL.

Anonymous said...

It is not like there is a past history of ABRA inspectors being corrupt or anything... hell it wouldn't surprise me if the ABRA inspectors were robbers.

In any case, the inspectors do have a reputation for being bullies. The Board must of have been terribly excited to have someone to thrash, after their toothless efforts against Twelve,Tru Orleans, Love ect: