Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Sushi bar wrapped up in assaults

Police demand better security at Pacific Commons nightspot

A new sushi restaurant and nightclub kept police busy early Sunday morning — as it has on other weekend nights — and now officers plan to pay more attention to it.

"We're going to put that place on our extra-patrol list," Sgt. Chris Mazzone said of Kaenyama Sushi, Teppanyaki & Bar at 43785 Boscell Road in the Pacific Commons shopping center.

Police were called to the bar shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday to break up a fight in which one man was struck in the head with a beer bottle.

Then at 2 a.m., police were dispatched to the ampm gas station at Grimmer Boulevard and Auto Mall Parkway where two men, who had been at the restaurant, beat up a third man while he was pumping gas, Mazzone said.

The attackers shouted "gang-related terminology" at the victim and punched him in the face several times before two bystanders chased them away, Mazzone said.

The victim also had been at the restaurant that night and told police he had seen his two attackers there, Mazzone said.

While police were tending to the victim, who had suffered several cuts and a swollen eye, a 20-year-old male crashed his car into a center divider in full view of the officers, Mazzone said.

Police found the driver wearing a re-entry bracelet for the restaurant and arrested him for driving under the influence of alcohol, the sergeant said.

"Either he had a fake ID or (the restaurant) wasn't checking closely enough," Mazzone said.

Calvin Tsang, the restaurant's manager, said it employs 10 securityguards on weekend nights when it transforms itself into a bar and lounge.

"We have enough security," Tsang said Monday of the restaurant, which has posh furnishings and seems geared toward a high-end clientele.

Police last were called to the restaurant on Saturday, Dec. 22, when eight units were needed to break up a large fight, according to police reports.

Since November, police have had at least four other calls for service connected to the restaurant, Mazzone said: a misdemeanor warrant arrest, an auto burglary, a grand theft and a fight.

"Sometimes when (businesses) change format, it takes a little time for them to manage that," Mazzone said of the restaurant, which opened four months ago.

He said that police plan to talk to restaurant management about improving security, possibly by better screening patrons and reporting incidents.

"I can pretty much guarantee that this will be addressed," he said.

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