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Port St. Lucie man accused of extortion of bar in city

Edward Santana has sued more than 100 restaurants, police say
Edward Santana, of Port St. Lucie.png
Posted at 8:21 PM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-21 22:57:13-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A 52-year-old Port St. Lucie man is accused of extortion of the owner of Kyle G’s Oyster Wine Bar, one of more than 100 restaurants in Florida that have been sued, the city's police department said Tuesday.

On Feb. 9, police served an arrest warrant for Edward Santana with one felony count. On Feb. 13, he was released on a $50,000 bond from the St. Lucie County Jail and ordered not to have contact with the victim and the victim's business.

The investigation began on Jan. 29, when bar owner Kyle Greene contacted the police department alleging that Santana was attempting to extort his business.

"A couple of months ago," Santana ate at the bar, according to the arrest report. Santana was alleged to have been difficult, rude and confrontational to team members and guests.

On Jan. 8, Santana returned to the restaurant and was alleged again to have been ill-mannered and rude to the bartender, and was disturbing the peace of the restaurant. The on-duty manager asked Santana to leave and explained to him that he was no longer welcome at the restaurant.

Santana didn't return but a few weeks later, Santana began calling and emailing the restaurant and Greene directly, according to the arrest report.

Santana demanded that he be paid $3,000 or that he would file a lawsuit against Greene for $65,000 for refusing to hire him as a host in 2023 based on his age, gender/sex and ethnicity (Latino/Hispanic) and for refusing him service based on his ethnicity.

Greene told investigtors Santana never applied for any such job and denied that Santana was unwelcome based on his ethnicity.

According to one of Santana's emails: “Now you probably know that I've sued approximately 100 restaurants and got paid for every single one of them with the exception of Ruth`s Chris Steakhouse in Coral Gables, FL and I took it all the way to a five (5) day trial. Guess what? I lost the trial only because I was convicted of theft back in 2007. This Trial was in January 2011. But Ruth`s Chris Steakhouse spent $100,000.00 in Attorney Fees over a 1.5 year period and $20,000.00 in Attorney COSTS."

He alleged he is indigent.

Port St. Lucue police are asking that any other restaurants or businesses in Port St. Lucie that may have been a victim of Santana to please contact them at 772-871-500.

Santana attempted or succeeded in similar situations dating back to 2005 in Miami, continuing to Naples and at some point, shifting to the Treasure Coast, according to Miami New Times and Naples Daily News.