The family of suspected New York and New Jersey bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami reportedly filed a lawsuit against the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey, over a dispute about the long and loud hours its fast-food restaurant would keep.
According to the New York Times, Rahami’s father Muhammad owns First American Fried Chicken on Elmora Avenue, located below the family’s home. Ahmad Rahami, 28, worked at the restaurant with his brothers and was friendly behind the counter.
But consistent complaints from neighbors over long, late-night hours, as well as many customers and friends loitering in front of the restaurant, led the City Council to file an ordinance that forced the establishment to close by 10 p.m.
Muhammad Rahami, who is from Afghanistan, did not comply with the ordinance and instead filed a discrimination lawsuit against the city, claiming his ethnicity, not the noise, was the source of the community’s issue. The family reportedly said in court documents that they were told by local residents: “Muslims don’t belong here.”
Elizabeth’s mayor said the ordinance wasn’t discriminatory and came from actual complaints.
“It was neighbor complaints, it had nothing to do with his ethnicity or religion,” Mayor J. Christian Bollwage told the New York Times. “It had to do with noise and people congregating on the streets.”
When the family refused to abide by the ordinance, one of Ahmad Rahami’s brothers got into a fight with a police officer who was responding to a noise complaint. The brother reportedly fled the U.S. for the family’s home country of Afghanistan before he could face charges.
Eventually, the Rahami family and the city came to a compromise: the restaurant would close at midnight or 1 a.m. and police wouldn’t come by.
Ahmad Rahami was the subject Monday of an FBI manhunt after he was linked to bombings over the weekend in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood and in Seaside Park, New Jersey that left dozens injured. The FBI raided the family's restaurant Monday morning after Rahami was identified as a suspect.