A local nightclub could soon be picking up the tab whenever police
are called to break up fights or settle other problems there.
The police have Gitana Restaurant in their sights after responding
to a 50-person melee outside the establishment early Sunday. More
than 10 officers were called to the scene, and one of them suffered
minor injuries when a man allegedly resisted arrest.
In the past six months, police have received an average of 25
calls per month to the nightclub, according to police records. Under
the club’s conditional-use permit, which allows it to operate in the
city, Gitana can be charged when officers are called there more than
three times in a month.
Incidents at the club, at 260 E. Magnolia Blvd., have varied from
minor disturbances and complaints of intoxication to car burglaries
and assaults, police spokesman Sgt. Bruce Speirs said.
“I would categorize most of the calls to Gitana as dealing with
intoxicated people who get into fights,” he said.
In addition to the recent melee, stabbings were reported outside
the club in August and January.
Gitana owner Andres De Leon is out of the country, employees said.
A manager at Gitana said he was unaware of any charges being levied
by the police department.
Pending calculation of the charges and a review process, police
will bill the club for calls from the past six months, but Speirs
said he had no estimate Friday of the total tab. The charge will be
based on the number of officers sent to each call, their rank and how
long they were at the restaurant. The charge for each officer is
$36.61 per hour, and each sergeant is $45.98 per hour. Speirs said
the use of other resources, such as the police helicopter, also come
with an hourly charge.
In March alone, police said they were called to Gitana 28 times.
Glendale Police said they were called only twice this year to
Giggles, a nightclub of similar size in that city’s downtown area.
Burbank has no other restaurant-nightclub establishments similar in
size to Gitana, which has an occupancy of more than 300.
The department also has charged Sensation Village, a nightclub in
Burbank Village, for excessive service calls. That club closed in
January after the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control declined
to renew its liquor license. While the police decision to charge
Gitana for service calls will not directly affect its liquor license,
excessive police calls are one factor the agency considers when