Club Owner Threatens Lawsuit Against City

JONESBORO, AR -- From one arrest to another, Julio Diaz, who owns a private club in downtown Jonesboro, says he's had enough.

Diaz says ever since he was approved for this liquor permit in 2004, he's been harassed by the city he's trying to do business in.

"They've been very racial and they've instructed people not to let me back in my own restaurant," says Diaz.

And they would be the Jonesboro Police, according to Diaz. They certainly have crossed paths a lot recently, from the shooting in the parking lot behind his restaurant to his arrest after a traffic stop, to most recently being charged with destruction of property. But that's not the only entity he's angry with.

"The A.B.C. Board had a meeting yesterday and they would not even let me attend my own meeting. I was the one who was there when it happened, the shooting outside. To this day, I don't even think they know what they're talking about," says Diaz.

But police officers who were at the A.B.C. hearing Wednesday say Diaz wasn't even there.

Whether he was or wasn't, it doesn't change Julio's plans to sue the City of Jonesboro, the A.B.C. Board, the Chief of Police, Judge Keith Blackman, his restaurant business partner and even his own lawyer; all people he says have been racist toward him and his business.

"I don't have a criminal record at all and within 1 month, I have 2 felonies and obstruction of property and public intoxication. Just the thought of being handcuffed and paraded downtown like a criminal, that's absurd and Chief Yates I believe had a lot to do with it," says Diaz.

We asked Chief Mike Yates about Julio's looming litigation.

"I really don't know what to say about that but he's certainly attracted a considerable amount of attention lately and he's exhibited some rather bizarre behavior. Quite frankly we have better things to do than deal with Julio Diaz's personal issues and his imaginary criminal actions," says Jonesboro Police Chief Yates.

Julio's Restaurant is scheduled to have another A.B.C. hearing concerning their liquor permit in Little Rock next week.