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Banned From Belmont Shore for Drunkenness

Long Beach City Prosecutor's first case in new approach to deterring Belmont Shore's alcohol-related nuisances and repeat offenders earns Los Altos man three-year banishment from 2nd Street.

A Los Altos man's sentencing Monday for misdemeanor public drunkenness came with a twist: he will not only spend two months in jail but has been legally barred from Belmont Shore's Second Street. For three years.

Andrew P. Zea, 24, of Long Beach, pleaded no contest Monday to public intoxication, which requires that a person be so inebriated that one can't care for one's self, according to the Long Beach City Proseutor's Office.

But aside from Zea's sentence of 60 days in jail, and being ordered to serve 3 years on summary probation, he will have to "get out of Dodge."

A new "Stay Away" program by Long Beach City Prosecutor Douglas Haubert was recently announced at the Belmont Shore Residents Assn. monthly meeting.

Under the "Belmont Shore Ban," Haubert requested in court that Zea, whom Haubert said had prior offenses (see below), be ordered by the judge not to return to Belmont Shore for 3 years.

Other than morning hours, "he can drive through it, but that's about it," Haubert said of Zea's banishment.

The focus is to snag chronic rowdies and vandals and more serious criminal behavior related to alcohol who are "drawing down on our resources," Haubert told Patch Monday.

Just weeks ago, on July 18, the unanimously approved a controversial entertainment permit to Panama Joe's despite the Long Beach It produced a 31-page report calls dating back two years at the popular nightspot.

City Council members who spoke or were interviewed said denying the entertainment permit would not reduce alcohol problems and allowed the city to impose conditions that might curb troubles. Critics of the vote said it kicked the can down the road and that conditions could be made on business licensing.

Belmont Shore/Third Distict Councilman Gary DeLong, who represents Belmont Shore, recommended conditions be approved; some critics said such conditions would be fine but go largely unenforced due to lack of staff-in effect, nullifying them.

The argued that the restaurant-bar was monopolizing increasingly limited officer staffing due to repeated public drunkeness, fighting and DUI calls. The co-owner, Ron Newman, argued that a window smashing and burglary down the street linked to Panama Joe's drinkers was unfair because they'd been kicked out.

In demonstrating that Zea has allegedly been a persistent public problem, Haubert issued a statement on his past record:

"Since 2010, Zea has been arrested twice for drunken behavior in Belmont Shore.  In one case, he was arrested and convicted for public intoxication after being ejected from a bar.  In the other case, he was arrested and convicted for fighting in public and resisting arrest.  Both prior incidents occurred on Second Street in Belmont Shore and were alcohol-related.  

"This most recent case arose from an incident on Friday, August 18, 2012, when Zea and two others were told to leave by a bar owner because they appeared drunk and were disturbing other customers.  (It is unknown if they consumed alcohol at the bar or prior to entering.)  Zea was recognized [from a prior incident] by a police officer, and arrested after it was determined he was intoxicated."

Patch interviewed Haubert about the concept of the Belmont Shore Ban and what he intends to achieve with it and will share more details soon.

Corrected to reflect that Councilman Gary DeLong was not absent and voted in favor of the entertainment permit for Panama Joe's.

Jeff August 21, 2012 at 09:23 PM
I like this law. I'm all for people having a good time in the shore, but if you consistanly create problems and can't take care of yourself then you need to go.
John B. Greet August 21, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Wow, someone actually being held fully accountable for his actions. What a refreshing concept!
Nancy Wride (Editor) August 21, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Stay tuned for more on this story. But I think draining police resources on misdemeanor chronic fighting and unsafe drunk drivers is unfair to other parts of the city. Haubert seems to be lauded for stepping out with actual action.
LB Long Timer August 22, 2012 at 07:17 AM
Great job to the city prosecutor for trying to improve quality of life issues in Belmont shore with this clever approach. Too bad the councilman in this district hasn't shown similar leadership during his term to address this on-going problem.
BSResident August 22, 2012 at 11:54 PM
It appears the City Prosecutor and police are just going around DeLong to find solutions to the problem. When you have property owners like the Lorbeers choosing to put new businesses like Dogz in their buildings instead of a Roe, Simmzy's, Nicks etc. it just makes this problem worse. At some point the property owners should be held accountable as well.
Belmont Local August 24, 2012 at 05:47 AM
thank goodness that DeLong has common sense in this matter...sounds like a small minority of bitter resident complaints who have been monopolizing the police that should be dealing with the crooks downtown

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