Burbank Police Arrest Tinhorn Flats Defendant for the Third Time

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The front door of TinHorn Flats April 5th Protest (© Ross A Benson)

BWP LIRAP
Lucas Lepejian returned to the restaurant after being cited and released ( Photo by Ross A Benson)

For the third time since April 1, Burbank police have arrested 20-year-old Lucas Lepejian of North Hollywood, the son of owner Baret Lepejian around 9:40 am on April 6 on a Burbank Municipal Code Violation for removing sandbags that were put in front of the doors of Tinhorn Flats by the City of Burbank earlier today.

According to Sgt. Emil Brimway, “Lepejian was observed removing sandbags which had been placed in front of Tin Horn Flats, by City employees. The Sandbags had been placed in front of the establishment to prevent anyone from entering due to the unsafe conditions.”

According to Brimway, “Lepejian was arrested by officers in front of Tin Horn Flats for altering efforts the City has implemented to prevent entry into the establishment, due to the unsafe conditions and to be compliant with the City’s safety codes. He was booked for 9-1-1-114(e) BMC. He was cited and released on a citation to appear in court at a later date.”

BurCal Apartments8715

According to the Burbank Municipal Code, section 9-1-1-114(e) states, “Violation Penalties: Any person who violates a provision of this Building Code or fails to comply with any of the requirements thereof or who erects, constructs, alters, or repairs a building or structure in violation of the approved construction documents or directive by the Building Official, or of a permit or certificate issued under the provisions of this Building Code, shall be subject to penalties or other remedies set forth in this code.”

A post on the Tinhorn Flats Instagram account saying they that “We will not comply” (Instagram Photo)

There is also a note on the bottom of the section that reads, “Any person violating the provisions of this Code shall reimburse the City for any and all costs, expenses and fees incurred by the City in responding to, investigating, assessing, monitoring, treating, cleaning, removing or remediating any violation of this code. Such costs, expenses, and fees to be paid to the City shall include all administrative expenses and all legal expenses, including costs and attorney fees in obtaining compliance and in litigation, including all costs and attorney fees on any appeal.”

This is now the third arrest for Lucas Lepejian, who was arrested on April 1 and arrested again on April 2.

While the first and third arrests were citations to appear in court, in the second arrest, he had to post $5,000 bail to be released. All three arrests were misdemeanors.

On Tuesday at 11 am, a protest was called in front of the restaurant on Magnolia Blvd. during the day. Some of the protesters used the occasion to promote their causes, such as recalling Governor Newsom. Some of the signs used profanity which was visible to anyone driving by.

Burbank police were in the area the entire time, monitoring the situation.

A little after 3 pm, a caravan of protestors drove and circled the Burbank Downtown area a couple of times and also went by the residence of Burbank Councilmember Konstantine Anthony. It is unknown if Anthony was home at the time.

Baret Lepejian posted to Facebook that he was stranded in another country that he was visiting when the pandemic struck and has been unable to travel home because of travel restrictions. Facebook has taken down the Tinhorn Flats page.

39 COMMENTS

  1. To the Burbank City Council:

    I am not a Tinhorn Flats customer yet I continue to protest to the waste of taxpayer funds.

    Take the judge’s lead on this and settle this matter.

    A fine is enough.

    The taxpayers cannot suffer more tax increases which is what happens when the City wastes public funds on needless actions.

    Look at the overtime the City incurs: https://www.burbankca.gov/home/showpublisheddocument?id=56573

    It is not reasonable.

    And why do supervisors receive overtime when the law clearly states that supervisors are exempt from overtime pay requirements?

    This is unsustainable. Stop, now. It’s not alright.

    • You obviously didn’t read the article. It says in plain english that the parties responsible will be required to reimburse all expenses incurred by the city while enforcing the closure of THF. Therefore it is not a waste of taxpayer money.

      And THF has already been fined. Repeatedly. They won’t pay and continue to operate in clear violation of the law, incurring more fines. So it is obviously not true that “a fine is enough”

      • Hello Damon, I am a longtime student of the City’s budget.

        No one [emphasis added] at the City has been tracking the true cost of this soap opera.

        There is not tracking of the police time, staff time and attorney time.

        The County already filed a lawsuit and the City does not need to expend so much taxpayer money on this. The City has an open checkbook when it comes to Tinhorn Flats.

        I am 100% confident you will not be able to source any document that accounts for the money that taxpayers have spent on this test of wills exercise by the City.

        When you find that link, send us to it.

        Based on what I know about our staff costs at the City and what the City Attorney’s budget it, I would estimate this project has cost our City seven figures including all of the resources applied to the Tinhorn Flats saga.

    • You really ought to take the 5 minutes or less it would take to read the entire article before wasting your time writing out such an unnecessary outcry.

      6th paragraph states:

      “There is also a note on the bottom of the section that reads, “Any person violating the provisions of this Code shall reimburse the City for any and all costs, expenses and fees incurred by the City in responding to, investigating, assessing, monitoring, treating, cleaning, removing or remediating any violation of this code. Such costs, expenses, and fees to be paid to the City shall include all administrative expenses and all legal expenses, including costs and attorney fees in obtaining compliance and in litigation, including all costs and attorney fees on any appeal.”

      Looks like the city lawmakers are one step ahead of ya.

      Best,
      George.

      • Hello George, indeed I can read and did.

        Who is tracking this? Can you product the link? The City is not tracking all the costs. I assure you of that. If you disagree, kindly point the public to the report of all costs that have been incurred. No such record exists.

        Rather than make an ad hominem attack against my remarks, please produce the record of the expenses. I assure you, that you cannot. The City cannot.

        It would be a miracle if the City could be that organized with tracking staff time, but they are not. I study this extensively and have for the past 30 years. I have been a resident that long.

        The City will generalize things like $1,229,309 in “Other Professional Services” without giving any details. Source: https://www.burbankca.gov/home/showpublisheddocument?id=55493 page 9. You will see line items put out for “soft costs” which simply means consultants.

        I invite you to conduct some searches of the City’s Accounts Payable log: https://burbankca.opengov.com/data/#/1296/query=BE4A6ABAE84EF3A3B69EC7A908FADECD&embed=n which will help you better understand where money is going and how much.

    • Christopher, Thank you for your cogent commentary on the city concentrating on things that don’t matter.

      • I appreciate your engagement and that of everyone else. Politics is a full contact sport and it is okay to voice your honest opinion. No cancel culture here. I can only hope that our leaders will find the wisdom to bring this matter to a swift close for the benefit of the General Fund and to protect us from future tax increases.

  2. Constitution of United States of America 1789 (rev. 1992)

    “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

    • 5K bail for his *second* violation of restraining order. No bail required for first or third violations of the restraining order.

      Hardly excessive.

      Editor’s Note: The third arrest had nothing to do with the restraining order, it was a BMC violation.

  3. To the Burbank City Council

    We need to clean up Burbank. The Tinhorn Flats building has become an obscene and vile public nuisance. Use Eminent Domain to seize the building and then immediately bulldoze it.

    Gibbons v Ogden (1824)

    “(According to the 10th amendment) police powers are reserved to states for activities within their borders. Those police powers include the ability to impose isolation and quarantine conditions.”

    Sincerely

    Chris

  4. @ Christopher Matthew Spencer

    You really ought to take the 5 minutes or less it would take to read the entire article before wasting your time writing out such an unnecessary outcry.

    6th paragraph states:

    There is also a note on the bottom of the section that reads, “Any person violating the provisions of this Code shall reimburse the City for any and all costs, expenses and fees incurred by the City in responding to, investigating, assessing, monitoring, treating, cleaning, removing or remediating any violation of this code. Such costs, expenses, and fees to be paid to the City shall include all administrative expenses and all legal expenses, including costs and attorney fees in obtaining compliance and in litigation, including all costs and attorney fees on any appeal.”

    Looks like the city lawmakers are one step ahead of ya.
    Don’t quit your day job.

    Best,
    George.

  5. I was wondering why you took a vote on your Burbank Twitter feed regarding the Tinhorn Flat issue. I don’t have a Twitter account and I can only assume other Burbank residents don’t either. I’m not a Tinhorn Flat customer but do believe it is a waste of taxpayer funds.

    I agree with Christopher Matthew: Take the judge’s lead on this and settle this matter.

    A fine is enough.

    Per your below poll, do you know how many are really Burbank residents?

    myBurbank News
    @myBurbankNEWS
    ·
    14h
    Final Results of our poll:

    Poll: What should the City of Burbank do in the Tinhorn Flats Saga? Please vote
    Prosecute Fully
    72.5%
    Some Sanctions
    7.2%
    Drop it Completely
    20.3%

    1,748 votes·
    Final results

    Thank you,
    Concerned Burbank Resident

    Editor’s Note: We don’t know how many were Burbank residents like we don’t know if you are a Burbank resident. We run many polls – get a Twitter account if you want to particpate.

  6. Looks like the Fourth Reich is alive and well in Burbank. The city and the people who run it are corrupt to their core.

  7. Burbank City Council, If people want to congregate to eat, stop using our tax monies to prosecute them practicing their personal freedoms. This is a MASSIVE waste of time, money and energy. Our police force is SICK of this, our RESIDENTS are sick of this, and now ALL OF CALIFORNIA is getting involved causing unwanted traffic, etc.
    PLEASE end this, it’s oppressive and un-necessary.

  8. Kate, your reference to the “Fourth Reich” is offensive. Shame on you.
    I do not support law breakers. I do support our city in prosecuting the offenders in question to the fullest extent of the law.

  9. Just an FYI, according to public records, Mr. Spencer (see above), who regularly repeat-posts his defeated political diatribes in the comment sections of this website, has filed numerous lawsuits, including one against the City of Burbank, and another for emotional distress. The legal websites indicate these lawsuits have been dismissed. This gentleman also likes to mention studies he has initiated and donations he has provided. However I have yet to see any proof of his philanthropy, and no links to any studies he initiated that were taken from a representative sample of respondents. I have also seen badly outdated references in posts, used out of context.
    I, for one, am thankful for, and highly-appreciatve of the services that are funded by local taxes (primarily sales tax, which in large part is paid by non-Burbank residents at establishments like Ikea, Empire Center businesses, Burbank Mall businesses, and others). These Burbank-based businesses are destination sites that fill our City coffers (though obviously the coronavirus has slowed down the cash flow for the time being). This is one of the main reasons I moved to Burbank, the incredible value of public services funded by taxpayers.
    And of course, as many of my compatriots have pointed out, the City’s Codes are well-documented. On top of that, the city will prevail in their Civil Lawsuit against THF, and recoup all expenses incurred as a result of the Lepejian fiasco. Not sure why the Burbank minority political party members (and non-Burbank residents) keep suggesting (hoping?) that the City’s budget will be impacted.
    Kudos to this website for providing unbiased information, available to all.
    People should of course be allowed to express their opinions, and I am pleased that my opinions are in alignment with a decisive majority of Burbank residents. I am proud to be in a city, county, state and country that are governed by progressives who value health and safety over commerce and capitalism, with officials who will prosecute criminals for past and present violations, regardless of the current status of oft-disputed (but lawful) mandates. Criminals (including business owners/operators) who have complete disregard for public safety, who openly, flagrantly and willfully violate the law deserve to be held accountable for their reckless and dangerous actions. The Lepejians must pay their fines and, based upon current trajectory, the son may quite possibly go to jail.

  10. The comment section here is bonkers. Plenty of Burbankers have Twitter… it’s not a weird or unheard of thing to have one.

    There are plenty of flights back from Thailand and have been for months now. My theory is that Baret either doesn’t want to be vaccinated to come back or is too busy with his questionable “business ventures” to bother.

    • Hello Anonymous:

      I repeat what I have said many times. I am not a customer of Tinhorn Flats and I vehemently object to the needless waste of public funds. The only people going to the Tinhorn Flats speakeasy at this point are friends of Lucas and activists trying to make a point.

      Why are you disparaging Baret Lepegian’s character making comments like “questionable ‘business ventures?'”

      If you have proof of wrongdoing, post the facts and documents up. Otherwise it is completely immoral to insinuate someone is doing something wrong publicly without proof.

      No one deserves that, not even people you dislike or hate. Isn’t that called “cancel culture” now? We used to call it speaking out of school or lying.

  11. Kangaroo Court in the Banana Republic of Burbank, CA. Spineless “City Council” kowtowing to the Socialist Left, who want nothing more than to destroy someone’s business and lives because they happen to have differing views. You left wing loons need to get a life of some kind instead of trying to destroy others. This City sounds more like a Community in Venezuela, than in the USA.

  12. Mr. Spencer quote:
    “I vehemently object to the needless waste of public funds”
    BURBANK FACT: The city will recoup all (temporary) use of public funds. You may or may not choose to read up on readily available Municipal Codes, before rendering an opinion based upon your own “expertise”, which is clearly not fact-based. And don’t forget the City’s civil suit against the “speakeasy” (this generous classification seems far too glamorous for a burger joint), in which Burbank will only need a slight majority of jurors to prevail. The Lepejians will be represented by the same attorney who defended (and lost) the case of a certain Bay Area murderer named Scott Peterson.
    I don’t see a happy ending for these flagrant violaters of public health/safety/law/will.
    https://www.modbee.com/news/local/crime/scott-peterson-case/article216341290.html

  13. Mr. Spencer, according to Trellis.Law, the most recent record for a Christopher Matthew Spencer’s case that was filed June 27, 2016 against the City of Burbank indicates a Notice of Entry of Dismissal and Proof of Service, dated January 7, 2019. This was a few days after a judgment of Dismissal was filed by a Christopher Matthew Spencer, dated January 2, 2019. Seems like a long period of time, money and effort expended on defunding our beautiful City’s General Fund, if that was the basis of this case as you have suggested with the pdf link provided in prior comments. The City’s General Fund is used to pay for (among other things) safety services – fire and police, park, recreation and senior programs, library programs, planning, street maintenance, and code enforcement (e.g., THF violations). I personally enjoy these taxpayer-funded services/perks. I’d be interested to hear details about this case, which may be different from the one cited in an earlier link of yours, which indicated a “Tentative Decision” dated September 12, 2017.

    Public records regarding litigation:
    https://trellis.law/case/BS162779/CHRISTOPHER-MATTHEW-SPENCER-VS-CITY-OF-BURBANK

    Details on General Fund:
    https://www.burbankca.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=31937

    • “Radley Altleft,”

      Dive a little deeper. The City was engaged in secret and illegal transfers.

      The judge indeed agreed and issued an order stopping that: https://burbank-city.s3.amazonaws.com/court-order-writ-of-mandate.pdf

      An appeal was filed…and the appeal became moot when instead of sneaking around taking money without asking, the City correctly put the matter to the voters.

      Stop the cancel culture “Radley Altleft” because anyone with a computer can look up the entire court docket and read the judges order.

      And to our fellow Burbankers, use the court’s own website and download the actual documents, or if you want to see them, let me know and I’ll gladly post them up.

      “Radley Altleft” is attempting to tie off balloons. AD HOMINEM attacks are the weapon of those who have an weak position.

      Focus on facts and truth “Radley Altleft” not false statements.

      The City indeed is bleeding red ink and the deficit will not be stopped by wasting money spanking a 20-year-old owner’s son at Tinhorn Flats.

  14. Mr. Spencer, that’s very impressive that you spent several years of time and effort forcing the city to defend itself (which obviously incurs taxpayer-funded expense). And perhaps your dalliance did succeed in defunding the City’s General Fund that is used to pay for services like parks, safety, libraries, seniors, etc. You must be SO proud.
    Details on General Fund:
    https://www.burbankca.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=31937

    And why do you keep touting facts/truths when you know as well as anyone that the TinHornFlats fiasco won’t cost the city a dime? I am amused by the “cancel culture” reference (SO common among right wing parrot/sycophants), once again rife with hypocrisy. Aren’t you attempting to cancel the culture that in most cases has been ratified by Burbank voters/residents? And shall we discuss YOUR AD HOMINEM attacks? (wow that’s an impressive, arcane, latin word). Radley Altleft’s feelings have been deeply hurt by your comments, his character and reputation has been besmirched. He is suffering emotional distress.
    “CANCEL CULTURE”:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/02/19/nobody-loves-cancel-culture-more-than-republicans-do/
    https://www.thenation.com/article/society/republicans-cancel-culture-kaepernick/
    RADLEY’S FEELINGS HAVE BEEN HURT, JUST LIKE MICHAEL RAPPAPORT’S:
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1379153916198187008

    • “Radley Altleft,”

      How will you determine (or anyone) how much this abatement is costing taxpayers? No one is accounting for it.

      I encourage you to source the facts about that (the City will never do the accounting).

      Police time
      Staff time
      Lawyers
      More lawyers
      Court costs
      Per diem
      Parking

      You will never figure out the actual cost but it’s massive.

      • Christopher Matthew Spencer

        There’s an open discussion with Burbank City-Council Members on budgeting of the THF case taking place at 2pm this Saturday afternoon, 04/10/2021, in the Alta-Dena Drive-thru Dairy parking lot on W. Magnolia Blvd at Clybourn Avenue.

        Please tell your friends and join us in the socially distanced open discussion. Looking forward to hearing your comments in person.

        Kindly,
        George.

  15. The city has embarrassed itself with this obsession with putting Tin Horn Flats out of business. Why? No one got sick there. We all now know that the lockdowns were entirely unnecessary and counterproductive as are mask mandates. Restaurants can be be now and yet the city is still harassing this one small hamburger joint. It’s pathetic. If the restaurant’s patrons were comfortable eating there, why is the city so intent upon ruining the owner? If only all Burbank’s small businesses had stayed open. There was never any evidence that restaurant were places of contagion. Not one bit of scientific data supports that move. Now we are national news, justifiably mocked for being consumed with the determination to punish one man for trying to keep his place open. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. It seems the city has a few too many snitches and karens, busybodies that enjoy interfering with the lives of others.

  16. The city leaders and at least half of its residents should be ashamed of themselves; oh wait, they are the progressive liberals who are ignorant of facts but feel superior to all, even each other!

    It’s been fun to watch you buffoons make such a mockery out of your tired and boring city.

    Tin Horn Flats simply stood up to the ignorant leaders and residents while trying to provide a living and service to smart, fact-living residents; that was their “crime”.

    I will NEVER visit your pathetic, trashy dumpster smelling city again.

    You all need to get recall efforts going ASAP.

    Steven

  17. […] against dictatorial Big Government and Big Tech, not to mention Big Fear and Big Apathy. The most recent account of the restaurant’s battle to stay open for business and liberty documents the third arrest […]

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