Houston politics can be a dirty business -- and first-time City Council candidate Lonnie Allsbrooks says he's finding out how nasty things can get: he says he's been the target of shady dudes in tinted-windowed cars staking out his business and chasing him down the mean streets of the Heights.
It's reached pretty serious levels. Check out what Allsbrooks, who's running for At-Large Position 1, posted on his Facebook last night (not edited for clarity):
It's a shame that an individual cannot run for city council without being stalked or harrassed. I have HPD involved and have hired security, cameras everywhere I go, and take a class to carry a weapon. No matter what I will not back down, and the truth will come out on the who is involved. HATE IS WHAT I AM AGAINST!!!!! I hope no matter who you support, we all support having individuals arrested for hate crimes.
This of course piqued our interest, so we asked Allsbrooks to flesh out the details.
For about the last four weeks, he told us, he's seen the same handful of cars following him around and hovering suspiciously around his bar, Beer Island. And in this timeframe, he's also had a bunch of campaign signs stolen from the area around the bar. All this was frustrating and creepy enough, he said, but things got downright crazy over the weekend: a high-speed chase (if your definition of "high-speed" includes 45 mph) through residential streets by a sinister character who Allsbrooks was lucky enough to snap a pic of.
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Allsbrooks said he was also able to run the dude's plates. (Hair Balls was promised copies of the pics on the condition that we wouldn't run them...which we wouldn't anyway, lest we wind up at the bottom of Buffalo Bayou).
"They're watching me very closely, they know where I live," Allsbrooks said of the spooksters. In fact, after he reported the chase to HPD, he signed up for a handgun class. He says he also put up a bunch of security cameras around Beer Island. "I can feel them all around me. They have backed off since Saturday. Sunday, I didn't go out much," he says. "It scared me. It's the first time I've ever been scared like that."
Allsbrooks said he doesn't know for sure who these people are and why they're trying to scare him, although he thinks they might want him to drop out of the race. However, when asked if his opponent might be behind it, he said he had no idea. (He also brought up the fact that he's gay, so we asked if he thought that's why he's being targeted -- especially since he mentioned "hate crimes" on his Facebook post -- but he said he's sure that's not the case. So we weren't exactly sure why he brought up the gay thing, but....)
Intrigue like this is sure to spice up the race -- not that we want, or even predict, any ill will befalling Allsbrooks. We just hope he doesn't ask us to start his car for him in the morning....