City May Ban Admission-Charging Parties : Violence: Yorba Linda officials say gatherings are magnets for problems.
City officials said Monday that they would consider a possible ordinance to outlaw admission charges for parties similar to the one that drew hundreds of rowdy revelers to a local neighborhood here last weekend and ended in the stabbing death of a Placentia man.
“You can bet your last dollar that there will be considerable conversation about this,” Councilman Gene Wisner said, referring to Saturday night’s gathering in which guests were drawn to the 4900 block of Via del Cerro by flyers distributed at Esperanza High School.
Councilman Irwin M. Fried said he has already asked that the matter be placed on the agenda for the council’s next meeting.
A city ordinance, similar to one in Los Alamitos that bans admission charges at gatherings in residential zones, should be considered for Yorba Linda, he said.
The Los Alamitos ordinance, adopted last month after the stabbing death of a 17-year-old party host, declared that charging admission to parties in residential areas creates situations that may lead to “danger to life and/or property.” Violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 or six months in jail.
“This is terrible,” Wisner said. “We will look around at other cities and see how they handle these things. Somehow, we can’t allow this to happen.”
Aaron Stout, 23, was fatally stabbed when a fight broke out at the Via del Cerro residence shortly after 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Richard Velasco, 19, of Anaheim was arrested Sunday and was being held on suspicion of murder Monday.
The violence was apparently prompted when Stout and a second stabbing victim tried to remove Velasco from the party.
The other victim, Steve Nicholas Lindsay, 17, of Yorba Linda suffered a stab wound to his arm. He was treated and released from a local hospital.
Velasco’s aunt, Debbie Velasco, said her nephew had been invited to the party by the host to provide “security” and did not stab Stout.
“He was the good guy,” said Debbie Velasco, weeping in a telephone interview. “He was the one who was stopping the fight. He was the one who was trying to get the bad guys out.” Velasco said her nephew was also assigned by the party’s host to collect the admission charge.
Police Detective Terry Fincher said officers were continuing to interview witnesses Monday, but “we have arrested one party that we’re sure of.”
Police said that more than 200 people were drawn to the party by flyers advertising a $3 admission fee and other party attractions, including a beauty contest, assorted mixed drinks and three kegs of beer.
Yorba Linda Mayor Mark Schwing said the weekend party already seemed in violation of laws prohibiting under-age drinking and the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors. But he said council discussion next week promises to be lively and is sure to include debate about the Los Alamitos ordinance.
“I have a real problem with government interference into private lives,” Schwing said. “But I have questions about where were those adults who are responsible for those teen-agers. It’s very strange, very tragic.”
In the past, Councilman Fried said, police have been generally successful in quelling disturbances at teen-age parties, “but the violence associated with the latest incident is very upsetting.”