Thursday, May 11, 2017

Vape Van criminal probe investigation underway

MILE SQUARE VIEW EXCLUSIVE


An investigation into the ugly street vendor verbal altercation last Saturday is underway and may lead to a criminal complaint filing as soon as the end of this week.

No arrests or charges have been filed to date and law enforcement is seeking additional facts after the Hoboken Police Department was called to the scene.

The status of the investigation could change by week's end as both parties involved in the verbal exchange decried as "hate speech" by several Hoboken officials are identified.

A reliable source familiar with the investigation's status said any determination on criminal conduct by any of the involved parties is not concluded.

Other independent sources point to the controversial almost two minute video and question its completeness. Some believe there is a far longer video of ten minutes capturing more of the verbal altercation than its conclusion.

The near two minute video captures the end portion with one man seen near the Vape Van yelling and cursing at another man to leave and repeatedly calling him "immi." The other man responds by giving him the finger.

Any law enforcement investigation would require a review of the entire dispute if available where two street vendors sparred over a parking spot on lower Washington Street.

The Vape Van owners reportedly have obtained legal representation in the hopes the Hoboken City Council will revoke its business license next week and then lob a First Amendment litigation at the City of Hoboken.

After the Saturday incident, Mayor Dawn Zimmer and council members Ravi Bhalla and Ruben Ramos lambasted one of the parties thought connected to the Vape Van. The mayor called on the City Council to revoke the Vape Van's business license at its meeting next week and council members Bhalla and Ramos announced they would co-sponsor a resolution seeking that outcome.

Legal analysts, civil libertarians and Hoboken residents responded contending any conclusive action by the City Council in light of a limited video of the altercation is a First Amendment litigation waiting to happen.

Other residents celebrated the government declarations and the promised resolution revoking the business license of the Vape Van.

Any criminal complaint filed prior to the City Council meeting may however spare the City of Hoboken from litigation costs freezing potential action on the Vape Van's business license.

Vape Van criminal conduct? An investigation underway may see a complaint
filed prior to next week's City Council meeting. 

Yesterday both local publications, MSV and Hmag joined others urging caution before the City of Hoboken finds itself in a prolonged and costly litigation. Yesterday Hmag joined MSV with an editorial, "Let Freedumb Vape - Do We really Want to Make THIS Guy The Hero Here???"

Law enforcement has a year to file any complaint with completion of its investigation.


The rest of this story is MSV Premium content and is out to members.
If you didn't receive it, drop a note to smartyjones@me.com.
To join and have Hoboken and its 2017 election coverage sent right to your email inbox sign up:

Councilman Ravi Bhalla hails "Business Against Bigotry" initiative

Councilman Ravi Bhalla announces:


Dear Friends & Neighbors,

I am sure many of you have heard about the disturbing incident this past weekend involving the owner of the Vape Van vendor truck.  The video has gone viral online.  In Hoboken, we know this behavior does not reflect the character of our community and the many small, local businesses that make Hoboken special. 

While the City Council will consider action at our next meeting, this incident also challenges us to assert our identity as a community.  To that end, small businesses in Hoboken are joining the nationwide “Business Against Bigotry” initiative to reaffirm Hoboken’s strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, and to treating all people with civility and respect.  I write to urge you to join in this campaign.

The initiative is easy: simply request the decal below by emailing me at councilmanbhalla@gmail.com, and I will send you the decal, free of charge, to display at your business, non-profit, church, school or home. Please feel free to forward this message to any friends or neighbors who would be interested in this initiative. 


I firmly believe that the most effective response to ignorance is education.  The most effective response to hate is love.  When presented with a challenge, we must come together and send a positive message that will ring throughout Hoboken and beyond.  Thank you for joining me in this journey.

Sincerely,
Ravi S. Bhalla
Councilman-at-Large
City of Hoboken