Earlier this month, the Manassas Park Planning Commission derailed the attempted railroad of Rack n’ Roll Billiards Club owner Dave Ruttenberg after rejecting calls by City Attorney Dean Crowhurst and Vice-Mayor Brian Polk to quickly vote to revoke the Conditional Use Permit of the business without having any time to review the information presented by the city and Ruttenberg. That apparently upset the powers that be in Manassas Park, who appear to have felt that they needed to get some more ammunition to finally take out this pesky local business owner who dared question the outrageous behavior of the city in it’s attempt to destroy him. Last Monday, they tried another setup, which again, fortunately failed.
The story starts with a woman named Beverly Frezza, an ex-girlfriend of Dave Ruttenberg who was coerced into becoming an undercover operative of the Joint Narcotics Task Force in 2003 after she was caught driving drunk. This is admitted in the brief by the city in regard to the appeal before the Fourth Circuit Appellate Court, which clearly states that Frezza is working on behalf of the Joint Narcotics Task Force. She was the undercover operative the JNTF used in it’s attempt to bring drug dealers into Manassas Park from Dumfries in a ham-handed attempt to promote drug activity in the club that would later be used to discredit Dave Ruttenberg. Last Monday, she surprisingly shows up at Rack & Roll, asking if Dave was there. He wasn’t, so she and a female accomplice that came in with her left. In this picture, Beverly is on the left.
Beverly then asks the manager on duty if she can bring her own alcohol into the club. Since that’s not allowed, the manager says she can’t do that, and the two of them leave.
But look what had pulled up at the same time that Beverly Frezza, known undercover operative of the JNTF? Isn’t this van one of the surveillance vans used by the JNTF? It showed up in the 2004 raid by the JNTF on Rack n’ Roll, and has been noticed at other JNTF operations. It’s the van on the left in this picture.
Here’s the still of Beverly Frezza’s car pulling up — it’s the dark car on the left. The timestamps here show that the JNTF pulls in the parking lot right after Beverly Frezza shows up. Later on, we’ll see that the JNTF surveillance car leaves right after Frezza is kicked out. Coincidence? I think not.
So after thirteen minutes of sitting in their car, here come these two girls again. This time they’re not empty-handed. My, isn’t that the same style of styrofoam cup that Rack n’ Roll serves sodas in?
Frezza then goes to the manager and asks for a soda, which he gives them, while Frezza’s accomplice goes to the ladies room. The manager then does something that probably saved the day. He smells rum in the cup that Frezza brought in, and realizing that she intended to mix the soda with the contents of the cup she entered with and share an unauthorized alcoholic beverage in a business that didn’t have an ABC license, he tells her to leave. She does.
Her accomplice, returning from the bathroom, notices that Frezza isn’t there calls someone on her cell phone to find out what happened — not Frezza, and she exits and has a conversation with Frezza out in front of the business. Soon after Beverly Frezza is kicked out, the JNTF surveillance van pulls out of the parking lot after having done nothing but sit there. No one left the van to go to a store in the shopping center, and no one came to the van, which is somewhat unusual behavior in a parking lot at a strip mall. It’s a little hard to see in the picture, but at the top here you can see the van pulling out, going from left to right at the top of the frame.
Based on what I’ve seen here, and from speaking with Rack n’ Roll management, it’s pretty clear that this went well beyond a normal “sting” operation and was a clear attempt to set up Dave Ruttenberg, soon after he managed to allow the city to embarrass itself at the latest meeting of the city planning commission. Here’s an admitted operative of the JNTF bringing alcohol into Rack n’ Roll hoping that none of the employees on duty would notice so that the JNTF could raid the establishment and fabricate evidence that the business was violating laws controlling the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Had this setup worked, when the Planning Commission again took up the matter of Rack n’ Roll’s Conditional Use Permit at their next meeting, this would have likely been devastating.
Instead, it’s turned into substantial and additional evidence that the city is unlawfully trying to run one of the members of it’s business community out of town. It’s another outrage, piled on top of a whole host of other outrages. This city government is completely out of control, and it’s time citizens started demanding some accountability here.
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