Why Do Houston Police Keep Bothering Food Truck Oh My Gogi?

Categories: Crime, Spaced City

oh my gogi.jpg
More Gogi, more problems: the strange tale of Oh My Gogi
Houston police spokesperson John Cannon has trouble not laughing when he hears about the food truck Oh My Gogi. It's not their complaints, or their food, or the owners. It's the name. Oh. My. Gogi. The punch lines pretty much write themselves.

Oh My Gogi isn't laughing.

Owner Eric Nguyen says the Houston Police Department has unfairly targeted his food truck over the last month, coming after them with a new flurry of citations every week. In the last month, the food truck, which sells Korean barbecue and tacos near Rice Village on the weekends, has been inspected four different times by police and hit with at least four different violations.


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oh my gogi food truck stop.jpg
Police inspect Oh My Gogi; protect us from the terrorists
It started a month ago, manager Daniel Davenport said. He parked the Oh My Gogi truck near Brian O'Neill's and started selling tacos. But then the cops showed up and wrote him a citation because he didn't have a food preparation permit on him, though he showed it to them on his iPad. Not good enough, they said, writing him a citation.

Davenport didn't think much of it, but then things got weird. The cops showed up again the next week. They were different officers, Davenport said, and they declined to say why they'd come again. "They said, 'We were told by our sergeant to come and crack down on you all," Davenport said.

Cannon said the HPD has in no way targeted Oh My Gogi. Earlier this year, area residents and restaurant owners began complaining about all the food trucks, he said. So police have launched an inspection sweep of the area. In the last month, he said, police have written at least 50 citations. Cannon said the campaign will continue for at least one more month.

Oh My Gogi's Davenport takes us inside the police offensive. He said the second time they came to Oh My Gogi, police found his propane tank on the outside of the truck and shut him down. He had to throw away $800 worth of food. Then police made him pour bleach all over it.

The next week was the worst, he recalled.

Again, it was different officers -- this time two officers named J. Sanchez and A. Huff -- who came to his food truck. Davenport said a "sergeant" had sent them, and they had to find something to cite. Police wrote three infractions for displaying their business permits, which were on hand but not in open sight.

Nguyen couldn't believe it. "We're totally legit," he said. "But they're always going to find something. Our truck is the only one being picked on. It's weird. And it scares me. There are just so many rules that we don't know about and they could keep writing citations forever."

Other food truck owners, a conspiratorial lot, perceive politics behind the police actions. Tom Morris, who owns Coreanos, said it may be related to all the recent brouhaha over whether the city will deregulate food trucks, which would allow them more freedom to enter downtown and provide seating for customers. "But my opinion is, bring it on," said Morris.

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26 comments
OhMyGogi
OhMyGogi

Killer Kimchi Quesadillas & OMG Addicting Fries RT @Charmaaainee @HoustonPress Why Do Houston Police Keep Bothering Food Truck

Robinvtexas1215
Robinvtexas1215

@atasteofkoko @OhMyGogi HPD quit tormenting OhmyGogi

sp0ka
sp0ka

This has got to be one of the worst written articles someone was paid to write. Please send it to a competent editor before making it live next time, guys. I would give a fifth grader a C for this ffs.

entroposloc
entroposloc

It's simple: neighborhood asshats and restaurants feeling the pinch calling it in.  Follow the money. 

Mon Ica
Mon Ica

They have nothing else better to do, give'em donuts next time!!

geronl
geronl

Eric Nguyen doesn't sound like a Korean name. That's America, man! Sounds like food trucks are being harrassed to me. These trucks need to make a deal with local stores, pawn shops, thrift stores, liquor stores etc to use their parking lots. (maybe bringing those stores more business too)

Fluerie
Fluerie

Why? Could it be that Houston needs more revenue, that they can't cut programs further, and that there's no political courage to raise taxes even slightly on the very wealthy among us? Follow the money. It's not about exploding propane tanks and other distractions.

Javier Gomez
Javier Gomez

It makes perfectly sense, my theory is the police are given perks such as free meals, free beverages for patroling their assigned sectars, most business establishments more often feel obligated to give away such perks to thank them for their continued protection, and those that don't comply might experience the backlash of unequal protection, food trucks do not require such protection as most of them are mobile & do not have to worry about thefts in the middle of the night, they simply pack up & go, the fact that food trucks are taking away business from these food establishments which the police seen to have vested interests is perhaps the reason why the police is doing this, "I'm sorry Officer Brown, but I can no longer afford to offer you anymore coffee & donuts on the house, business has been slow due those damn food trucks all over town." Offficer Brown:"Don't you worry, I'll take care of that, no one messes with my donuts! No one!"

myfavoritetexan
myfavoritetexan

There is absolutely no reason why police should be spending their time "cracking down" on food trucks when there is legitimate crime occurring in Houston. How about you crack down on the few dozen robberies, burglaries, or auto thefts that occur each month in my ZIP code alone? Also, the fact that they would make them throw out perfectly good food when thousands go hungry in Harris County each day is just sickening. @ohmygogi has my full support on this one.

Bobby James
Bobby James

This article says what everyone knows: HPD are some assholes.

Ed Truitt
Ed Truitt

"Don't break the law." Great idea, especially that on the average day the average citizen commits not one, but TWO Federal Felonies, thanks to an almost incomprehensible, convoluted set of "laws and regulations". Oh My Gogi might want to watch out, though: people have been SHOT for less.

Autumn Smith
Autumn Smith

I love their food! This is so messed up. It's all just so the cops can buy more shiny cop cars and give themselves longer paid vacations (a luxury that most of us who make $20,000/yr or less will NEVER know!).

arrothiel
arrothiel

That sucks! I love their food; they stop by Little Woodrow's in the Heights (which is near my house) regularly and it all seems clean and above-board to me. The police just want money to fund more shiny cars and paid vacations for themselves.

Joshua Justice
Joshua Justice

Cussing: The reason cops harass business owners.

Brian Dahl
Brian Dahl

Too much cussing on this thread. No wonder we have problems like this.

Joshua Justice
Joshua Justice

Darrell Maxwell - King of Black & White, prince o' the obvious, misser of the goddamned point

Joshua Justice
Joshua Justice

Why are the police enforcing H&HS rules? When was the last time you saw cops perusing a brick and mortar kitchen? And what training do cops have in food enforcement?

Ian IceCream Castillo
Ian IceCream Castillo

It goes around in circles. At first they were targeting live acts and DJ's at bars and clubs for "sound ordinance" that the cops never used a decibel meter on. Now they are targeting hard working people that really haven't done anything wrong for profit. After this fiasco blows off, and it will, some other type of business will suffer. All for profit.

Laurie Woolery Sheddan
Laurie Woolery Sheddan

complete bullshit! We need a city council that more accurately represents the city of Houston. Houston in THE ONLY MAJOR CITY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA with these problems. It has as much to do with corporate food with deep pockets as it does to do with terrorism. Doesn't the under funded HPD have real crimes to investigate in this city? How many robberies, burglaries, rapes, murders or drunk drivers got away with their crimes while HPD was shaking down a food truck?

Holly Kelch
Holly Kelch

Quirky? Do you mean to tell me there are no city guidelines/rules/regulations outlined that tell a food truck vendor exactly what they should be doing in order to comply?

Nicholas Dion
Nicholas Dion

Holly Kelch that's a blank statement. You need to understand what is currently going on in our city regarding food trucks before you toss out quirky statements. Regarding this red tape with the city, total bullshit. Once again, HPD, aka the local mafia, is at it again. Bullshit.

Holly Kelch
Holly Kelch

"There are just so many rules that we don't know about and they could keep writing citations forever." - Here's a noble idea... know what you are doing.

AsianThinkTank
AsianThinkTank

@OhMyGogi @Charmaaainee Policemen are bitter. A staggering number of them are high school jocks who couldn't land a football scholarship.

musicoz5
musicoz5

@sp0ka These types of comments get really old, go cry somewhere else.

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