Business owner calls weekend public urination on his storefront ‘retaliation’
A business owner who released footage showing some bad behavior outside of a downtown Anchorage bar says one of the men seen in that footage retaliated against him this weekend.
Russ Reno says his business, the Downtown Tour Group, near Brown Bag Sandwich Co., benefits from the extra traffic the daytime sandwich business brings to 3rd Avenue, but that the crowd the restaurant and bar attracts at night has become unmanageable.
The dispute between neighbors and the bar owners came to a head last week when Reno, Urban Sushi owner Geewon Anderson, and people who live nearby in the Turnagain Arms Condos, adjacent to the bar, presented surveillance video to the Downtown Community Council. The footage showed people being loud, men and women publicly urinating at the entrance to the Turnagain Arms Condos, and a violent assault.
But Reno said what his cameras caught this weekend, after KTVA aired the video Thursday night, is even worse.
He spent a weekend morning cleaning urine off of his storefront after a man who appears to be in the earlier footage urinated right in front of his cameras.
“He came right to here and all but waved at the camera,” Reno said. “It was obvious that he was doing it just to get back at us for providing the footage to KTVA.”
He’s since turned over footage and pictures of the man to the Anchorage Police Department (APD), and said since Brown Bag takes a photo of each guest and their ID, the bar staff should be able to help police identify the man. In an email to Reno, which he forwarded to KTVA, an APD officer wrote: “I contacted the manager of Brown Bag yesterday asking if they knew him and showed them a picture, which they told me they had never seen him before.”
The officer added: “I have put a locate out for the individual and extra patrol by your business was requested.”
Reno said police responded to Brown Bag twice Saturday night, and after the second time, he noticed the crowd quiet down.
“There’s a bunch of thugs, and they’re running around here being bullies, and they think they can intimidate us and make us feel like we’re not safe in our own home,” Reno said, adding that he’s not ruling out the option of paying for a security guard to keep people from defacing his storefront at night.
He and Anderson believe the young man peeing was making a statement. On Sunday, Anderson decided to send one back.
“Entertainment in Anchorage, nightlife in Anchorage — we need those,” she said. “But we can do it [in a] reasonable way, we can do it [in a] legal way.”
Sunday she and Reno were out scrubbing and sweeping their storefronts and sidewalks, and Anderson paid to power wash the entire block, including Brown Bag’s area. She said she hopes they can start over and work together to make the block a safe, enjoyable place to be.
KTVA was not able to reach Brown Bag’s owners, despite several attempts.
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