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Let’s Go To The Video Tape (#5)

By Greg L | 24 September 2007 | Rack & Roll Scandal | 15 Comments

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.

If you want to see the videos, they’re in three parts which you can see here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

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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15 Comments

  1. Anonymous said on 24 Sep 2007 at 6:42 am:
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    Greg,

    This is the kind of blogging that brought me here. I have no idea about the legality of any of these reported activities but I hope some measure of relief is received by the owner.

    This post is what puts your blog above others. I understand you probably can’t blog about this kind of stuff everyday but some of your political posts just drag down the quality of your blog and bring it down to run of the mill partisan blog ho-hum.

    Your watchdogging in this case and others is what put this blog on the map. Sometimes I fear that the best part of your blog will get lost when some, not all, of your political posts are indistinguishable from run of the mill partisan blogs. You really can be better those.

  2. park'd said on 24 Sep 2007 at 8:04 am:
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    All in a day’s work for the park. I equate the park to George Bush in that whatever the citizens want, they do the complete opposite. These clowns all need to be arrested by pitch fork wielding citizens and put on public trial.

    Dave

  3. Anonymous said on 24 Sep 2007 at 10:13 am:
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    Another huge problem for the managers at this club is that they can’t even call the police when something like this happens. It’s their own informant breaking the law here.

    Their saving grace once again is it is all videotaped and posted on the net for all the world to see. Thank goodness. It makes it much easier to forward to our friends at the U.S. Justice Department.

  4. Lovisa said on 24 Sep 2007 at 10:34 am:
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    WHO MADE THE VIDEO?????????????

  5. Anonymous said on 24 Sep 2007 at 10:40 am:
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    It’s video from a security system. It used to be these systems were used to protect youself from criminals, but in Manassas Park you need them to protect yourself from the police and city government.

  6. Billy Beck said on 24 Sep 2007 at 11:06 am:
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    Yo, “Anonymous”, 6:42am — wake up and get with it:

    This *is* a “political post”. What on earth could be more political than a government’s attempts to destroy a citizen?

  7. The Patriot said on 24 Sep 2007 at 11:35 am:
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    CALL WARNER AND WEBB TODAY….JUST SAY NO TO THE DREAM ACT!

  8. Uncle Jesse said on 24 Sep 2007 at 4:20 pm:
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    These people seem to have descended to Boss Hogg depths.

    (Sorry about the geographic snobbery)

  9. redawn said on 24 Sep 2007 at 4:29 pm:
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    U J, actually that is funny and a very good way of putting it.

  10. Loudoun Insider said on 24 Sep 2007 at 6:23 pm:
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    More absolute nonsense. What’s Paul Ebert doing about this? Have the State Police been brought in yet? How about a raid on the MP Police Department?

  11. redawn said on 24 Sep 2007 at 6:31 pm:
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    What is the protocol to keep the local police in check? I would also ask this of the rape case on the other thread.

  12. AWCheney said on 24 Sep 2007 at 6:38 pm:
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    That is generally the job of the local Commonwealth’s Attorney…who doesn’t seem to be interested in justice. I am most firmly convinced that Ham Sandwich can do a better job than Paul Ebert. If Ham wins, or even makes a decent showing, maybe another attorney in PWC would get the backbone to take Ebert down once and for all!

  13. redawn said on 24 Sep 2007 at 6:42 pm:
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    AWC,
    So it would be the commonwealth’s attorney. Some one has suggested on the other thread, The State Police? Would that be the next step if the CA didn’t produce results?

  14. AWCheney said on 24 Sep 2007 at 6:52 pm:
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    The State Police have to take their evidence to the local Commonwealth’s Attorney, as Dave Ruttenberg found out the hard way when Ebert refused to act on it…and the investigating officer was “retired.”

  15. redawn said on 24 Sep 2007 at 7:03 pm:
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    AWC,

    Thank you. I haven’t had the time yet to go all the way back to the beginning of THIS saga. I understand that this is in MP ( which I get IS the problem) but there are other clubs that are more troublesome, i.e. Sharp Shooters.
    I do feel for Dave and many of my family and friends have never had trouble patronizing his venue. We have been there in a couple of years, so I just get the info. updated here.
    What a shame and I do think the commenter “Uncle Jessie” above said it best.

    Amazing.

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