Neighbors Fare Ill, So Far

Times Staff Writer

Life gets rowdy along Clearbrook Lane in Costa Mesa some weekends.

The 12,000 or so people leaving concerts at the nearby Pacific Amphitheatre make a ruckus and leave behind beer bottles, trash and a decidedly bad image, according to sleepless neighbors. So can crowds from the events at the fairgrounds, whose parking lot is a few hundred feet from Clearbrook Lane.

Now the Orange County Fair has begun and is setting attendance records--118,000 last weekend alone--and some of the patrons have been causing a stir.

Saturday night, one man pointed a gun at a parking lot attendant to indicate that he didn't want to pay the $2 parking fee. The gun turned out to be a realistic toy, but the man wound up in jail all the same.

Then Sunday night, two cars in the fairgrounds parking lot collided hard enough to overturn one of them and send its driver to a hospital with minor injuries.

One of Clearbrook Lane's residents, Mary Dorothy Holmes, 46, apparently decided Sunday night that "she'd had enough," Costa Mesa Police Lt. Gary Webster said.

She went outside her apartment and confronted a group of youths on the street, singled one out, "stuck a loaded 6-inch revolver in his chest and cocked the hammer," Webster said.

She threatened to shoot, "at which time he indicated he was more than willing to vacate the area. He drove the half block to the Police Department and came flying in," Webster said.

Holmes was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and booked into Orange County Jail. She was released on $10,000 bail early Monday.

The cover for Holmes' car apparently had been stolen during Saturday night rowdiness, and she had bought a new one Sunday, Webster said. Neighbors said she occasionally went out to the street Sunday night to check on the new cover, according to police.

Earlier in the night she had told the same group of youths "to shut up--they were making too much noise," Webster said.

The street is posted with warnings that only neighbors with permits are allowed to park on the street. "But that doesn't work," said one neighbor, who declined to give her name.

"The parking out here is a disaster," she said. "At 11:30 at night, it's World War III. You try to come home at that time, and it's terrible. You can't go to sleep until it's all over because it's just too noisy.

"When you have this sort of thing going on over there (at the fairgrounds), what do you expect? The police have their hands full already."

Holmes' landlord said Holmes had returned home after her release from jail but was refusing to answer the door or the telephone.

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