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Another Bar Fight In Downtown Walnut Creek

The violence at the Redux Bar came just days after the City Council approved a new alcohol nuisance ordinance

A fight rocked the in Walnut Creek this weekend, ending in two arrests and one hospitalization.

According to the Walnut Creek Police Department, a patrolling officer saw a man leaving the Locust Street bar with bleeding head injuries at approximately 1 a.m, on Sunday.

The victim, 26, later identified as a Vacaville resident, said another bar patron, identified as a 29-year-old Oakland resident, had attacked him inside the establishment with a bottle. Both men had been drinking prior to the incident, police said.

After further investigation, police arrested the Oakland resident on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of cocaine.

Authorities say another Vacaville man, 25, who had accompanied the victim to the bar, failed to comply with orders given by the officer and was arrested for resisting arrest. The victim was taken to Kaiser Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

The owner of Redux Lounge did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The violence came only five days after the Walnut Creek City Council unanimously approved a new on first reading.  The ordinance is slated for final approval on May 15 and would take effect 30 days afer that.

The new ordinance proposes a protocol where police will first open a dialogue with establishment owners after multiple incidents have taken place. If incidents continue to occur, the city will have the option to impose restrictions, such as curtailing the hours during which the establishment may sell alcohol.

Mayor Bob Simmons said that a single incident like the one that occurred Sunday would not be sufficient cause for imposing the kinds of penalties laid out in the proposed ordinance. However, he argued the ordinance is likely to discourage bars and restaurants from fostering an environment that can promote violence.

"The nature of the ordinance envisions multiple events that create a nuisance within the city," Simmons said. "The police and the city would ask if there is anything a bar has done to incite an event."

In the past, the owners of bars and restaurants in Walnut Creek have to the new ordinance, arguing it holds them responsible for events that are out of their control.

Guy Louie, an attorney representing bars and restaurants in Walnut Creek, also believes the ordinance is unnecessary.

"The ordinance wouldn't make a difference because the local penal code already handles these events," Louie said.

Triple Canopy May 08, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Vacaville? Oakland? Oh, it's that regional destination thingy that the City Council is always pushing. Excellent! I guess it works - with some externalities.
SR May 08, 2012 at 05:50 AM
Triple you need to understand the city doesn't have the money to address these crime issues. We must make do with what we have and accept a higher level of criminal activity. By the way, did you hear, the city just paid for two new foundations along Main Street, a new coffee bar in the library, are working to install the giant Hand of Peace monument in Civic Park outside the library, add a year round facility for the ice rink, remodel the golf course and restaurant at Boundary Oaks and continue to pay for trolleys, crossing guards, a $300,000 art gallery, a wildlife hospital, $540,000 in annual library operating costs and 3.4 million for a performing arts center. Hopefully those Star Wars types won't mind the occasional home invasion, police pursuit, bloodied drunks staggering around downtown and a stabbing or two. Really Triple, you just don't get it-we are broke.
Paula Miller May 08, 2012 at 02:32 PM
When you give all dogs a leash, some will pull to the end of it......seems that this is the case with the owners and onsite management of REDUX. A customer is bleeding because of something that occurred inside of their drinking establishment and they didn't call the police why? Obviously the owner(s)/management of REDUX are not concerned, worried about or respectful of the new city ordinance.......you know, the one that is supposed to solve all of the problems of the downtown nightlife scene. Damn it, enough already! Our highly educated and finely trained police officers should not be used as babysitters for drunken druggies every weekend. It is an insult to them and a danger for the citizens of Walnut Creek who just may need police services while our officers are being used exclusively by the bar owners. And, I didn't even mention crime prevention going out the window because there are no officers out in the neighborhoods during the 'sitting' hours. This city is not only broke, it is broken. Time to get our priorities in order.
Davidson Freeman May 08, 2012 at 03:09 PM
If the Patch wants to take this to the next level, they should put out an article explaining Walnut Creek bar crime statistics over a period of time. Here is an article about ONE guy hit in the head by a bottle at a bar. It's safe to say that in the history of Walnut Creek that has probably happened once or twice before. Everything needs context. It would be very beneficial to the residents of Walnut Creek to have answers to the following questions: 1. Is drunken misbehavior anything new in WC over the past 6-12 months? Or is this something that people are paying extra attention to because it's interesting news? 2. How does the amount of incidents in downtown WC compare to other neighboring cities? Am I more likely to get into a fight at a bar in Pleasant Hill, Concord, Danville, etc. 3. What is the actual burden on the police? How many much police effort is focused on drunken disorder and specifically what are the consequences of that, if there are any. 4. What is the revenue that our downtown nightlife brings, and what are the costs of the occasional bar fight? In essence, is having a few fights every now and then just the inherent cost of having a vibrant, destination downtown?
David Mills (Editor) May 08, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Some good questions, Mike... we'll look into it
thedubc May 08, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Good write up Mike Steele. Random statements from the other posters here makes no sense.
Aprohaska May 08, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I've managed,owned and consulted bars,restaurants,and hotels for 14 years, from Los Angeles to the Mission, and this is completely baffling to me. One of the first things i did was to become T.I.P.S trained (a program that teaches intervention so that these things dont happen). The number one reason that fights break out in bars, plain and simple, is OVERSERVING of alcohol. It's the staff in these places that have to be re-trained, along with the owners, managers, etc. A good nights profits will be trumped by a peaceful night at a bar any day of the week! At least when i manage a place. But that might be too pragmatic. It's no coincidence that whenever i read an article about downtown violence, over 90 percent of the participants are not from WC. If this continues, the reputation will preceed WC for a place that barfights are tolerated. As for the WCPD, i applaude them, and suggest they start working, (another consumption of their time due to barowners greediness & laziness) with the liquor control board, to send people in to these places to randomly monitor over serving to an obviously intoxicated patron. This is a basic rule and premise all across the state. Maybe someone should explain that to the owners. Instead of putting all the effort into fighting city hall concerning the restrictions on serving hours, they should be focusing of their serving rules. Pretty basic stuff.
Aprohaska May 08, 2012 at 05:18 PM
As for Guy Louie's comments, & the local owners association stating "events that are out of their control", maybe they should do some better research. If you overserve someone who's obviously impaired due to alcohol, and they either hurt someone else, or themselves due to that impairment, you're liable. It doesnt happen often, but it's happened that more than one owner has been bankrupted due to litigation for negligence. So, it's your establishment, who else should be in control?
AJ Buttacavoli May 08, 2012 at 06:32 PM
The City of Walnut Creek is really something. On the one hand the city aspires to being the "Rodeo Drive of Northern California" which in itself is absurd, yet the city supports a cluster of rowdy bars which has turned the city into the laughing stock of the county. Yet the city has not passed a single smoking ordinance nor has it done a thing about siren violations of emergency vehicles.
Triple Canopy May 09, 2012 at 12:48 AM
SR - I get it more than you know. That's my jab at the City Council who, for the most part, is all about these artsy "ambiance", "character", and "quality of life" facilities. They fail to acknowledge their sleepy little town is all grown up and requires more of a big city approach and, of course, commensurate spending. However, I hate the way WCPD gets 3% at 50. That is total BS. It is one reason that many jurisdictions are going broke - the big fat exorbitant retirement packages public safety officials get. Capital costs vs operating costs vs retiremetn benefits cost. Guess which one is a runaway freight train. Uh-huh.

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