West Hollywood, California (December 12, 2009) – It was a riotous time in West Hollywood last night, from the Strip right to the jailhouse.
Three attendees of the Sunset Strip’s House Of Blues’ Ice Cube concert attacked sheriff’s deputies as they escorted the allegedly drunken trio off the premises, but the “shenanigans” did not stop there; they continued in the jailhouse.
According to Sgt. Chris Tater, “It was a complete shenanigans in here for a while.”
He said the trio, once booked, began fighting inside the jailhouse with another man just arrested at HOB for being drunk in public.
The episode began at 11:13 outside the HOB where Sheriff’s deputies took custody of three men, Ricardo Lopez, age 23, his brother Salvador Lopez, 34, and their friend Marcos Pozos, age 37, from HOB security guards who had removed them for creating a disturbance inside.
Sgt. Tater said, “The deputies were escorting them out to the street, where they were going to dismiss them, when they flat out attacked the deputies.”
He said the deputies used pepper spray and brute force to subdue the trio, and brought them into the station for booking.
About 90 minutes later, at 1:50 am, the three are placed in the jail and, “they started fighting with another prisoner we picked up at HOB for being drunk in public.”
Jailers fought the trio into submission yet again, rescuing the victim, Joseph Ruiz, age 35, he said.
“We were rockin and rollin here last night,” Sgt. Tater said.
The trio were all charged with drunk in public, assault on a peace officer and assaulting a prisoner.
The incident marks the first major incident at the popular venue in over a year; on September 4, 2008 a brawl involving over 100 people broke out at another rap concert.
One woman was hospitalized. Sheriff’s deputies had to request assistance from LAPD and the City of Beverly Hills police department. The Sunset Strip was shut down for several hours.
As a result of that and the string of incidents leading up to it, mostly occurring during rap or hip hop concerts, the club underwent a public safety review by WeHo’s City Council.
That review resulted in changes to the acts HOB books.
In the past, Live Nation, the club’s booking agents, had brought in acts that drew crowds known to sometimes engage in violent behavior (certain Hip-Hop, Rap and Metal bands); in April 2009 they promised the City they would pass any prospective bands past the new general manager at HOB for his approval.
HOB also promised to provide the City with its schedule in advance, including advance notice of any changes.
City council member Jeffrey Prang told WeHo News, “We’ve had ongoing trouble over the years with certain acts that bring concert-goers who seem prone to violence.”
Referring to the April agreement with HOB, he said, “We clearly have some room for improvement.”
Calls to HOB management were not returned before publication.