Bar owner claims police harassment
The owner of Wolf’s Den bar complained to the Grand Coulee City Council last Tuesday night that he is being harassed by police for loud music at his Main Street bar.
Ted Wolf told the council that police officer Sean Cook had given his bartender a $250 citation May 30, after responding to two complaints that the music at the bar was too loud.
He said that he was going to pay the citation because the bartender couldn’t afford it.
Cook had responded to two complaints, one right after the other, by Rick Bako, who lives on Federal Avenue.
Cook’s report stated that he could hear the loud music from 500 feet away when he stepped out of the police department door during the response.
Bako’s first complaint came in at 11:45 p.m. and the second complaint was at 12:10 a.m. He told police that the loud music was keeping him awake.
Cook had advised bartender Jessica Sumner to turn the music down or she would be cited for breaching the peace.
Wolf told the council that Friday nights are his biggest nights at the bar.
“I don’t make any money at the bar, and if we don’t come to some agreement I may have to shut it down,” he said.
Wolf added, “I know Cook is only doing his job, but we feel like we are being harassed.”
He told the council that he has watched a lot of small businesses go out in Grand Coulee.
He explained that the Wolf’s Den stays open until 2 a.m., later than the other bars in the area, and he gets the “left overs” from these bars.
Wolf said his bar was historic because the building was built in 1932, and he was providing employment for several people.
The issue was referred to the council committee on law enforcement and to the police chief.
Wolf’s wife Helen also appeared at the council meeting, but did not speak.