2 min

Bar Babylon closed, owner arrested

'I told him not to touch me'

AMIR EBRAHIMNIA. Church St bar owner says police insulted him and his parents. Credit: Nicola Betts photo

Church St’s Babylon Martini And Musique Boutique was shut down on Pride Weekend when police declared it over capacity.

Owner Amir Ebrahimnia was arrested during the closure and charged with obstructing, resisting and assaulting a police officer.

Though he admits to throwing a martini shaker during the incident, Ebrahimnia claims that he is the victim. He alleges that the officers entered his bar without cause, harassed and beat him, and refused to provide medical attention to his 60-year-old mother who was on the premises.

Ebrahimnia says eight plainclothes police officers entered Babylon the night of Jun 25. When Ebrahimnia approached the officers, they allegedly ordered him to close the bar down claiming it was over capacity.

While he was clearing the bar, Ebrahimnia alleges that officers called him an idiot, and one officer began pushing him.

“I told him not to touch me, and he asked me what I would do about it. Another officer continued to call me an idiot as another shoved me,” Ebrahimnia says.

Ebrahimnia says he told the officers he hadn’t seen a badge. He says one officer pulled out his badge and started laughing, “Are you happy now? Boy, now you’re really fucked.”

“Another officer turned to me and said, ‘I will make it my life-long hard-on to fuck you, my friend.'”

While the police were there, Ebrahimnia’s mother fell to the ground and Ebrahimnia alleges that the police told him to call 911 himself. Ebrahimnia says he threw a martini shaker out of frustration. Ebrahimnia says police then pummelled him to the ground, punching and kicking him.

He was then handcuffed, taken outside to a waiting police car, and driven to 51 Division police station on Parliament St for booking. A few hours later, he was released.

A police spokesperson says Ebrahimnia would have to file a formal complaint before police would investigate the matters surrounding his arrest. Ebrahimnia says he will file a complaint this week.

“We have someone at 51 Division in charge of investigating these kinds of complaints,” says Const Isabel Cotton. “The details of what happened that night would be in the memo books of the police officers involved, but I cannot just go up to them ask to see them unless there is an official complaint. And once there is such a complaint, we would investigate every detail in the matter.”

The bar was closed for seven days between Jun 28 and Jul 5. Ab Campion, spokesperson for the Alcohol And Gaming Commission Of Ontario says the closure dates back to an overcrowding charge on Jun 27, 2004. Inspectors say there were 64 people in an area for 35.

Last week Ebrahimnia expressed uncertainty over whether or when he would reopen the bar.