After the battle with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Chela’s Tacos finally moved from its three-year location to a few hundred feet up UTEX Blvd, but their trouble did not end there.
On Nov. 9 the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) detained owner Marty Davis for violating three city ordinances.
“The police came out at about one o’clock yesterday and in an excessive show of force they handcuffed me, threw me into the back of a police car, and started threatening me and harassing me,” Davis said. “It was very uncalled for, the way they did it instead of just coming and saying I couldn’t be on the street and giving me a ticket or whatever which is what they should have done.”
Chela’s trailer was located off Utex Blvd. and UTSA Blvd. for three years. They are a San Antonio favorite and have won several awards for their cuisine.
Over the last year, Davis fought off numerous attempts by TxDOT to have them move from the location at UTSA Blvd. and Utex Blvd. because TxDOT claimed that Chela’s was causing a safety issue on the right of way just outside of Chela’s. On Nov. 4, Chela’s moved just up Utex Blvd. so that they were no longer using the right of way.
“TxDOT was out of the picture. Now this is the city of San Antonio,” Davis said. “There was a police officer that was involved with the whole TxDOT dispute, and I guess he just got a real attitude for me and took a vengeance against me deciding that I was thumbing my nose at the police by not moving further away from the area.
“I thought that by moving off TxDOT land and onto the street of San Antonio, I was going to be ok. So, when they came out it was terrible. I was tortured in the back of the police car for two hours yesterday.”
Although Chela’s was no longer located on TxDOT property, they were still in violation of the law according to SAPD.
“I specifically told AP1 [Davis] that there was not an area in the 5900 BLK of UTEX where he could legally park or conduct business and to do so would cause him to receive citations or to be actually arrested,” Officer Raul Alonzo wrote in his report. “In previous contacts with AP1, he has been afforded verbal warnings as well as at lease on citation and was made very aware of his violations.
“When I observed today’s violations [conducting business on UTEX Blvd.], I believed that AP1’s willful disregard of state laws and city ordinances required his arrest.”
The officer cited Davis with “no toilet or washroom within 50 ft,” “blocking city right of way” and “vending from street site of mobile vehicle.”
“At first AP1 appeared as he would not cooperate,” Alonzo continued. “For his safety, as well as mine, I placed AP1 in handcuffs until I could render the dangerous situation he created safe as his trailer, vehicles, customers and employees were in the path of traffic on the roadway.
“I offered AP1 a chance to be arrested and face a judge for today’s violations, or to sign citations promising to appear in court and be released. AP1 verbally promised to appear in court.”
Chela’s made an agreement with the owner of the shopping center located at Roadrunner Way and UTSA Blvd. to set up shop in their parking lot; however, this may just temporary.
“We’ve been offered a spot down there on Huebner and Floyd Curl, but we’d like to stay in this area because all our clients are in this area,” explained Davis. “So we’ve worked hard for three years to build up our clientele with the students, the Valero headquarters and USAA down the street.
“A lot of people, it’s not just students. We have a really huge following right now, and if we leave this area it’s kind of like starting over again.”