Also noted by Kevin Whited, the manager of the Sonic drive-through was not happy with the police raid on Saturday, and unlike the James Coney Island manager, hadn't agreed to cooperate with police on it.
Sonic officials said Thursday that they never complained to police about the regular weekend crowd, had no warning of the raid and ordered employees to protect customers as the operation began.
Dismayed Sonic employees refused to allow police to tow 12 cars that the arrested customers were forced to leave in the lot.
"We wanted the opportunity for our customers to come get their cars without paying towing charges," said Celina Abernathy, a Sonic spokeswoman. Such charges can exceed $100. "Obviously we don't want our customers arrested. That is just common sense."
Sonic has never warned trespassers, filed complaints or signed paperwork to allow police to make arrests under the city trespassing ordinance, Abernathy said. Kmart officials have declined to explain the steps they took before the arrests.
"We have no no-trespassing signs on our property, though there are some nearby," Abernathy said. "And we never signed any paperwork."
Sonic officials are waiting for the result of a Houston Police Department internal investigation before they decide whether to pursue further action.