El Troqero Bar on César Chávez Ave. The LA City Attorney announced on July 21, 2016 that it is seeking an injunction against the bar owners, alleging the business is a center of illegal activity. Photo by Antonio Mejías-Rentas

Shortly before closing in the early hours of February 3, 2014, a security guard working inside El Troquero Bar heard gunshots outside the business. When he went outside to check, he found a man in his 20s lying on the sidewalk and a second man in his 20s shot in the back.

Police who arrived at the scene said there was some kind of verbal dispute between the two victims and other people; the man on the sidewalk was pronounced dead at the scene while the other man was taken to a hospital and survived the injury.

A woman stands outside El Troquero Bar on César Chávez Ave.

Authorities say that for years, El Troquero Bar and Pool Hall has been “an epicenter for violent crime.” On Thursday, the City Attorney said his office was seeking an injunction against the owners and operators of the property on the 2100 block of East César Chávez Avenue in Boyle Heights, to “crack down on rampant alleged gang and narcotics activity” there.

An abatement lawsuit was filed as part of a citywide effort to target properties that are known magnets for gangs, guns and drug sales.

“As is too often the case, a single property can erode public safety and the quality of life for an entire neighborhood,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a released statement. “Every business and property owner has a responsibility to the community.  My office will continue to hold accountable those whom we allege flout the law or facilitate illicit illegal activity.”

Authorities allege that El Troquero Bar serves as a base for gang activity and that the business employs gang members to sell cocaine and methamphetamines inside the business. It is also alleged that the business sells alcohol to intoxicated patrons and that it pays commissions to people who solicit alcoholic beverages from patrons. Violent activity inside the bar often spills out to the sidewalk and surrounding activities, it is further alleged, as in the 2014 deadly shooting.

Besides the business operator and owners, the lawsuit names several employees.

The lawsuit seeks a court-appointed receiver to manage the bar and property, and an injunction prohibiting narcotics activity, the unlawful sale of alcoholic beverages and the possession of firearms at the property.

Photo above: El Troquero Bar and Pool Hall on East César Chávez Ave. in Boyle Heights.

Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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