Police say Ruby's Cafe in Madera is tied to crime

MADERA, Calif.

Police say Ruby's Cafe is tied to a homicide, prostitution, and illegal alcohol sales. But the owner and her son insist any problems have happened outside the restaurant and are out of their control.

Ruby's Cafe is a danger to the community, according to Madera police. This report presented to the city council last month claims the owner has allowed prostitutes to work inside the restaurant and serves alcohol without a liquor license. Investigators also say a man was beaten in a nearby alley after drinking at the cafe back in October and died days later. Now the police department has asked the city council to revoke the cafe's business license.

Chief Michael Kime said, "For a lot of illegal activity that is certainly alleged to be going on there, some of which has been directly observed by officers in the Madera Police Department."

The police chief's report claims undercover officers bought beer in Styrofoam cups at the cafe for three dollars. It also says an employee told one undercover officer acts of prostitution occur in the restaurant and then led him to a room with a mattress on the floor. But the owner and her son insist they've done nothing wrong.

The owner's son, Antonio Pineda said, "We know we try to do everything by the right way."

Antonio Pineda admits people do drink outside the restaurant, but says no alcohol is served inside. And his mother says one woman lived at the cafe for three months, but she made that woman leave when she found out she was selling sex.

Ruby Pineda said, "She move when I got a lawyer."

Now Ruby is fighting to keep her restaurant open. She says she needs the money to support her family. "I have 2 boys in El Salvador and I help my son."

Her son is also worried about what will happen if the cafe closes.

"I feel bad because I'm the old son and I work very hard," said Antonio. "I work 2 jobs, and I try to help her, and when I see her crying, all sad, I feel bad."

Ruby's lawyer requested more time to review the issue during a city council meeting last month. Now the council is scheduled to consider revoking her business license again at its January 18th meeting.

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