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.