Sunday, May 19, 2024

Downtown business owner says council candidate Cochran trespassed at several businesses

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The owner of the Mint, a downtown restaurant and bar in Killeen, said that City Council at-large candidate Camron Cochran criminally trespassed Friday at several businesses, allegedly engaging in harassment.

CJ Nickens, the owner of several downtown businesses, including the Mint, posted a video of Cochran on Friday that appeared to show him getting a citation for trespassing on his property.

“Camron Cochran has decided to publicly attack businesses in downtown for not supporting his campaign with false reviews and claims; resulting in criminal trespass citations being issued from multiple businesses,” Nickens said in a Facebook message to the Herald.

Nickens said Cochran has trespassed at six different downtown businesses, using “dishonest and immature tactics.”

Cochran, on Friday, took photos of several businesses, including the Mint, and accused it of political pandering by having signs that support council members including Ramon Alvarez, who is running for re-election.

In Cochran’s Facebook post, the political signs are censored with a yellow block.

There was also a Yelp review made on Friday for the Mint by a person named “Camron C.” which read, “Not good at all. I would not recommend this scary place. It’s located right next to a jail.”

“During the spring Night Market, he (Cochran) stated he wasn’t happy with me for having ‘too many signs’ in my window,” Nickens said. “Camron Cochran was allowed to put his campaign card at the Mint of Killeen but was denied his request of placing his campaign sign above Councilman Alvarez. I have personally walked Camron Cochran through downtown to speak to other business owners as a means to develop his understanding of what is developing in the area. He has always been met with respect and kindness. Several other businesses that have been attacked by Camron Cochran and his campaign tactics will also be issuing CT (criminal trespass) orders against him. He is unwelcome at the majority of the businesses downtown.”

Nickens told the Herald that by Monday, Cochran will likely be reported for trespassing from more businesses.

Police Chief Pete Lopez Jr. said that he would not confirm nor deny that this happened.

“While I acknowledge the understandable concern and interest regarding these circumstances, it’s crucial to acknowledge that as law enforcement officials, we are bound by stringent protocols and procedures governing the disclosure of information, particularly when the incident could potentially impact a voter’s decision regarding a candidate in the City of Killeen election,” Lopez said.

A phone call and email to Cochran requesting comment were not returned Saturday.

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