Police arrest owners over Friendswood restaurant inspection

Monday, August 17, 2020
Friendswood restaurant owners say they were harassed by police
Press play to watch the entire interaction between the police and the owners, and the arrest that followed.

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas (KTRK) -- Two Friendswood restaurant owners investigated for DWIs connected to their establishment claim they are targets of police harassment.

On Aug. 3, Friendswood Police arrested Kobra Ghorbani, 41, and her husband, Fred Rahdar, 62, for refusing a bar check and inspection at their restaurant, Friends Pub, on Parkwood Avenue. The interaction was caught on camera.

However, Rahdar claimed police had already completed an inspection earlier that day.

"When they showed up here, they were done with the inspection, and so we were asking them to leave and 'Why are you just lingering around? I mean you've done your inspection. Leave and just stop,'" Rahdar said.

An incident report stated "the owners received documentation and a warning about impending inspections earlier in the day due to the number of DWIs stopped after patronizing the bar."

Police said both Ghorbani and Rahdar refused a bar inspection, but the couple's attorney, Mike Russo, claimed that's not the case.

The couple denied over serving customers alcohol and claimed they have been harassed since early July, shortly after bars were ordered to shut down in Texas. However, Friends Pub is classified as a restaurant, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

In a viral Facebook post, Ghorbani wrote, "Soon after that, I started to feel pressure and harassment from FPD. There has been police waiting in the parking lots for people to leave the restaurant at night making our customers timid and scared to come in."

"They put my wife under arrest as she's leaving in the parking lot. I chased him. I said, 'What's going on?' and I was really upset with seeing handcuffs on my wife," Rahdar said. "This is the first time that she's had handcuffs on her hands. I said, 'You take my wife, you have to take me too.' He didn't hesitate, and I had my hands behind me. He put the handcuffs behind me, and I said, 'What are my charges?' He wouldn't say anything until he put me in the car, and he said, 'Your charges are running your big mouth.'"

Ghorbani and Rahdar were charged with inspection refusal and interference, and police said more charges are pending. According to the incident report, an officer reported seriously injuring his hand as Rahdar was being handcuffed, but Rahdar denied hurting an officer.

"Prior to that, they told the wife to stop resisting, and she's a stage four cancer survivor,' Russo said. "There's no resisting there. This whole incident could have really devastating impacts on her health."

Friendswood Police declined to comment on the investigation.

Follow Raven Ambers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.