A Des Moines bar owner and landlord facing charges for allegedly helping another bar owner stalk an ex-girlfriend was arrested Friday night, his third arrest this year.
Edwin Allen III, the owner of Zora Bar & Rooftop, was booked into the Polk County Jail on an alleged serious misdemeanor around 9 p.m. Friday night, inmate information shows. His pretrial release in the stalking case was revoked after he was accused of violating the terms of his release because of a recent arrest, court records show.
Allen, 45, was arrested March 25 on allegations that he allowed two minors in a drinking establishment, Zora, 2120 Ingersoll Ave., after 9 p.m.
A Des Moines police report shows that arrest was in connection with allegations by two 20-year-old women who had been drinking at the bar and claimed they were sexually assaulted in the early morning of Feb. 12. No arrests related to the alleged assaults have been made, according to Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek.
“The sexual abuse investigation has not yielded sufficient evidence to file criminal charges related to those allegations,” Parizek said in an email.
Allen has not commented to the Des Moines Register on any recent criminal charges against him, and he could not be reached Friday night for comment.
However, in a resistance to revoke his pretrial release, filed in Polk County, Allen defended himself, writing that he believed the warrant was in retaliation for his filing a motion to dismiss the stalking case pending against him.
He pleaded not guilty to the January stalking charge after police alleged he conspired with friend and fellow bar owner Steve McFadden, 53, to track McFadden’s ex-girlfriend using a GPS device planted in her car. A pretrial conference in that case is set for April 5.
“The County Attorney has illegally reneged on a plea agreement after this defendant performed on the agreement. This sort of retaliation cannot be countenanced,” Allen wrote in his resistance to his pretrial release revocation.
Allen also agreed in February to plead guilty to disorderly conduct to resolve harassment charges against him. He was accused last year of terrifying a tenant’s children, ages 12 and 8, by banging on their door when the woman wasn’t home and yelling at them to let him in. Allen was ordered to undergo a substance abuse evaluation and is scheduled to be sentenced May 25.
The plea deal also resolved another case that was set to go to trial at the end of February. Allen was accused of second-degree harassment for reportedly yelling racial slurs and other derogatory comments over the phone at the daughter of another of his tenants.
In mid-February, a former tenant of one of Allen’s residential properties, Cyndi Collins, sued him under Iowa’s Civil Rights Act, alleging he demanded sex from her in exchange for a break on her rent.
Allen earlier this month put Zora up for sale, asking $4 million for the 5,500-square-foot building, which is assessed at $1.5 million. County records show he has fallen more than $16,700 behind on its property taxes, which were due in September and in March. He also has twice increased the amount of a $2.9 million, 20-year loan from Community First Credit Union in Ottumwa on the Zora building, county records show.