KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - Rockstar Burgers has been closed since December of last year when Brian Smith was arrested on charges of pistol whipping a girlfriend. But neighboring business owners say he’s been back living upstairs since he posted bond in March. Now, he’s in federal custody, and some say they hope he’s now gone from the West Bottoms.
First it was just drunken fights outside the then 24-hour joint called Rockstar Burgers. Then last November, a Facebook page called “Cancel Rockstar” was created.
The page was launched in response to disturbing photos and videos circulating of semi-conscious or unconscious women and a sex video that involved an animal.
“On Facebook, on his Google business page, on Snapchat,” one of the Cancel Rockstar Facebook page administrator’s Caitlin Krug said. “I think that really brought attention to the whole situation.”
The past year has been a rollercoaster for the group of anti-abuse advocates pressing for action. In December, owner Brian Smith was arrested and charged with pistol whipping an ex-girlfriend at an apartment in Platte County.
Just a few days later, police raided the loft above his restaurant, where a woman said she’d been sexually assaulted there months earlier, seizing electronics and ballistics evidence.
“That was like, yes, finally there’s justice for victims of sexual assault and domestic assault. And then he gets out. And it was like, wait, what?” Krug expressed.
Smith was denied bond for months, then he was released in March. Then came the charges for sex with an animal, stemming from the video provided by the people who started the page.
Now he’s among 18 people indicted in a three-year drug trafficking ring involving 150 kilograms of methamphetamine and 10 kilograms of heroin. He also faces an illegal firearms charge.
For Krug, it’s a bittersweet victory.
“This guy that we’ve been trying to put away is finally more than likely going to be put away for a very long time. But it also didn’t have anything to do with the assault charges,” Krug said.
The domestic assault and sex with an animal charges are still pending in county courts. The federal government filed a motion to hold him without bond in their custody now until trial. A date for that bond hearing hasn’t been set yet.
KCTV5 News couldn’t reach Brian Smith for comment because he is currently in federal custody. Meanwhile, The Cancel Rockstar page has since been re-named, “You Are Safe,” moving beyond this place to create a safe sharing space for anyone dealing with violence or harassment.