SEASIDE PARK, N.J. - The former owner of a Jersey Shore bar that has been the scene of confrontations between police and club patrons is suing the borough and several police officers.

Stephen D'Onofrio, who owned the Saw Mill Cafe in Seaside Park until May, says in a federal lawsuit that borough officials began a campaign of harassment against his business and patrons after the club presented a hip-hop concert in 2004.

D'Onofrio alleges that during a concert featuring the Grammy Award-winning artist Method Man, the entire Police Department, with reinforcements from other Ocean County towns, surrounded the bar. D'Onofrio says at least one councilman said "gangsta rappers" were not welcome in Seaside Park.

A message left at Borough Hall seeking comment was not immediately returned.   

- AP