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HomeNewsArchivesCHARGES DROPPED, RESTAURATEUR FILES COMPLAINT

CHARGES DROPPED, RESTAURATEUR FILES COMPLAINT

Todd Mann, proprietor of Woody's Seafood Saloon, has filed a complaint with the Police Department over his Feb. 4 arrest on charges of assaulting a police officer that were dropped by the Justice Department on Thursday.
At Mann's arraignment in Territorial Court, "The judge determined there was insufficient evidence to sustain a charge of assault," his attorney, J. Brion Morrisette, said.
The Cruz Bay restaurateur was initially arrested for ignoring an order by chief health inspector Ethlyn Joseph to close his establishment because it had no hot running water at the time of inspection. The assault charge was added after Mann allegedly pushed past Police Officer Jose Allen.
The same day that he was cleared of the assault charge, Mann filed the complaint with the Police Department Internal Affairs Division. Morrisette said his client took the action "just to make sure" that Allen's "misconduct in this event is put on his record and brought to the attention of police authorities."
At the time of the inspection, Mann said, he asked Joseph to remain on the premises while he attempted to restart his water heater, which had cut off automatically because of an interruption in the potable water flow. She declined to do so. He subsequently summoned St. John Administrator Julien Harley and Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Andrew Rutnik and asked them to reverse the closing order. Rutnik, after pronouncing the water hot, told him it was all right to reopen. However, when police found Woody's open, they arrested Mann.
Morrisette said Allen fabricated the assault charge in order to seize control of a situation "where no one was challenging him."
Health Commissioner Wilbur Callender has defended Joseph's actions. His spokesman, Lee Vanterpool, said allegations that the inspector used "Gestapo-like" tactics in closing Woody's and four other establishments were "totally unfounded." Joseph conducts the business of her department in a professional manner and conducts herself in a lady-like manner, Vanterpool said.

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