Vape Van criminal probe investigation underway


An investigation into the ugly street vendor verbal altercation last Saturday is underway and may lead to a criminal complaint filing as soon as the end of this week.

No arrests or charges have been filed to date and law enforcement is seeking additional facts after the Hoboken Police Department was called to the scene.

The status of the investigation could change by week’s end as both parties involved in the verbal exchange decried as “hate speech” by several Hoboken officials are identified.

A reliable source familiar with the investigation’s status said any determination on criminal conduct by any of the involved parties is not concluded.

Other independent sources point to the controversial almost two minute video and question its completeness. Some believe there is a far longer video of ten minutes capturing more of the verbal altercation than its conclusion.

The near two minute video captures the end portion with one man seen near the Vape Van yelling and cursing at another man to leave and repeatedly calling him “immi.” The other man responds by giving him the finger.

Any law enforcement investigation would require a review of the entire dispute if available where two street vendors sparred over a parking spot on lower Washington Street.

The Vape Van owners reportedly have obtained legal representation in the hopes the Hoboken City Council will revoke its business license next week and then lob a First Amendment litigation at the City of Hoboken.

After the Saturday incident, Mayor Dawn Zimmer and council members Ravi Bhalla and Ruben Ramos lambasted one of the parties thought connected to the Vape Van. The mayor called on the City Council to revoke the Vape Van’s business license at its meeting next week and council members Bhalla and Ramos announced they would co-sponsor a resolution seeking that outcome.

Legal analysts, civil libertarians and Hoboken residents responded contending any conclusive action by the City Council in light of a limited video of the altercation is a First Amendment litigation waiting to happen.

Other residents celebrated the government declarations and the promised resolution revoking the business license of the Vape Van.

Any criminal complaint filed prior to the City Council meeting may however spare the City of Hoboken from litigation costs freezing potential action on the Vape Van’s business license.

Vape Van criminal conduct? An investigation underway may see a complaint
filed prior to next week’s City Council meeting. 

Yesterday both local publications, MSV and Hmag joined others urging caution before the City of Hoboken finds itself in a prolonged and costly litigation. Yesterday Hmag joined MSV with an editorial, “Let Freedumb Vape – Do We really Want to Make THIS Guy The Hero Here???”

Law enforcement has a year to file any complaint with completion of its investigation.

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