The owner of a historic Oak Forest icehouse is suing a neighbor for assault, claiming that the man's violent threats and overall pattern of harassment are harming his business.
Plaintiff Edward Sanchez owns the Catty Corner Ice House on Wakefield Street, a storied avenue of near Northwest Side dive bars, trailer parks, assorted businesses and postwar single-family ranch homes. According to the suit, the beer-and-wine-only Catty Corner has been in continuous operation at that location for about 80 years. (It opened shortly after Prohibition ended.)
The suit notes that the bar is family-friendly and that there are no live bands. The only music comes from a jukebox that is not, according to the suit, ever played too loudly.
But, according to the suit, there is a serpent in this beery Eden...
"About 40 yards behind the ice house is the home of Felix Hector Berrios, the defendant."
DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN!
Beginning in 2009 and continuing to the present day, the Defendant has engaged in a long-running series of threats against Plaintiff's well-being and safety intended to harass Plaintiff and the icehouse and drive away its customers.
Most notably, there was the afternoon of July 12...
According to the suit, on that date, at 2:36 p.m., Berrios stopped his truck in front of the Catty Corner, shot his middle finger at Sanchez and yelled, "I'm gonna kill you!" and "I'm gonna fuck you up!" and other such familiar Wakefield Street salutations.
Just kidding. We've been to every dive on Wakefield, and you normally only hear such talk at 2:36 a.m., not 12 hours earlier. Unless, of course, you do something stupid like sport Dallas Cowboys gear into Red's Country Place.
According to the suit, this was not the first nor the last time Berrios had blasted the icehouse with a middle-finger-waving salvo of fiery invective. The suit claims Berrios makes a habit of such shenanigans, and also has veered his truck at Sanchez while the latter was driving down the street, cut down an expensive privacy fence on Catty Corner property, and has hurled "bricks and other objects" at patrons. (Shades of last year's Hans's Bierhaus vs. Robinhood Condos dramarama....)
The suit further contends that Berrios has lodged numerous groundless noise complaints against the Catty Corner, as well as a number of bogus TABC complaints.
The suit alleges assault and battery, trespass, negligence and gross negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and business interference.
A temporary injunction was passed barring Berrios from such behavior on October 22; a hearing next week could extend it further. The suit itself remains unresolved.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.