A Burbank restaurant owner has been arrested for the third time this month because police said he removed sandbags placed in front of his business by the city after being accused of violating orders from coronavirus.
Police said they arrested 20-year-old Lucas Lepejian on Tuesday morning for “altering the city’s efforts to prevent entry into the facility due to unsafe conditions and to comply with safety codes of the city, ”KCAL reported.
Lepejian was seen removing sandbags placed in front of Tinhorn Flats to prevent people from entering and was released with a summons and order to appear in court, police said.
The restaurant owner and Burbank have been involved in a dispute over whether the restaurant is allowed to remain open while being accused of breaking COVID rules.
Officials said the company refused to stop eating al fresco when the practice was banned in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
“This is the kind of police we are dealing with … they come with a heavy hand lest Tinhorn Flats make burgers and serve beers.” Lucas has returned from prison for the third time. What a truly sad moment in Burbank, California. We won’t comply, ”the restaurant said in an Instagram post on Tuesday.
Police said Lepejian was arrested on April 1 and 3 for violating court orders related to his restaurant, My Burbank reported.
When a court approved the lockout of restaurant doors in March, restaurateurs posted a photo of the doors being removed, writing: “The lock is closed … we open at noon.” We will NOT abide by illegal and unconstitutional rules and mandates, ”McClatchy News previously reported.
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge cleared the restaurant’s power last month following a temporary restraining order requiring the restaurant to cease operations without a license, Fox Business reported. When the restaurant defied the order, the electricity was cut, but it used a generator and stayed open, a city spokesperson told the publication.
City lawyers have been granted permission to lock the restaurant doors until the company obtains the necessary clearances to remain open, according to NBC Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health revoked the restaurant’s health license and its conditional use license was revoked by Burbank City Council in February, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
Complaints have been filed against the restaurant, accusing the company of continuing to operate outdoor restaurants despite coronavirus health orders, according to the publication.
“The vast majority of restaurants have done their part and acted as good citizens in complying with these orders, despite the enormous hardships and hardships they have suffered as a result,” according to court documents, according to NBC. “Not everyone willingly accepted the sacrifice. “
Los Angeles County had more than 1.2 million coronavirus cases and 23,000 deaths as of April 7, more than any other county in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.