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October 28, 1987|JACK JONES | From Staff and Wire Reports

As sheriff's deputies reported it, Bill Baroodi repeatedly refused to give his money to a robber who was pointing a gun at the head of his wife.

"Baloney," the 41-year-old developer says. "She will tell you so herself."

What really happened, according to the Lebanon-born Baroodi, is that he and his wife, Jackie, 28, arrived at their Malibu home from a movie about 11 p.m. Monday to be confronted by a man, who demanded Baroodi's watch or "I'll blow your . . . head off!"

If it had been a cheap watch, Baroodi says, he might have surrendered it. But it wasn't. He told the gunman in direct terms to go away. It was only then, Baroodi recalls, that the weapon was pointed at his wife's head.

Baroodi says he slipped the watch into his pocket and told the stranger to come get it. They wrestled briefly. The man fired a shot into the air. Baroodi pointed out that this was likely to rouse the neighbors and suggested that they might call the law.

When the man ran, Baroodi says, "I chased him. . . . Nobody knows how he will react when something like that happens."

But if Baroodi quarrels with the precision of the deputies' report on the incident, he praises their efficiency. They searched the area and soon arrested Frederick Lewis, 30, who reportedly had a gun. He was booked on suspicion of attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

Baroodi admits to being "stupid," but not to being as heartless as the initial report made him out to be.

If you tried to call the home of Pacific Telephone repairman Lloyd De Costa on Monday, but could not get through, here's why:

Administrator Renee Smith of the phone company's Silver Lake Maintenance Center said De Costa somehow had been left off the general paging system used whenever the office wants to alert any of its approximately 150 field workers to call in.

When the outside paging firm tried to rectify the situation, it inadvertently entered De Costa's individual pager number as the general paging number.

Thus, when his wife dialed his pager and punched in their home number as the one he was to call, it was received by linemen and pole crews throughout the Silver Lake, Hollywood and the Capitol-Clinton exchange area near downtown Los Angeles. They dutifully began calling.

After the first 15 calls or so, De Costa's wife gave up and switched on the answering machine.

The only field man who didn't try to call her, Smith says, was De Costa. His pager needed repairing and was on his supervisor's desk.

Former talk show host and current television producer Merv Griffin does not seem to be letting the current stock market problems postpone construction of a 25,000-square-foot marble-and-limestone mansion up in Benedict Canyon.

A hilltop on the 157-acre site once owned by a sister of the Shah of Iran is being carved off to provide a 16-acre pad for the home. Griffin says the place will have a helipad, a couple of lakes and a classical Roman-style house "like those you see outside Venice."

Venice, Italy , he stresses.

There will be a lot of glass, however, because the view will be 360 degrees.

Griffin, who appeared on the recent Forbes magazine list of the nation's 400 richest people, already owns another fairly nice place in Beverly Hills as well as one in Carmel and another near Palm Springs. "Real estate," he observes, "is a nice complement to show business."

Being able to buy a bunch of Rose Bowl tickets to give or sell to friends--or political supporters--is one of the perks of public office in Pasadena. But members of Pasadena's Board of Directors decided Monday that they had better not look like scalpers.

What prompted their move was the unpleasant publicity of last January, when each director received 100 Super Bowl tickets, and some of the tickets wound up in the hands of people who sold them at several times face value without the officials' knowledge.

The new controls will apply to the 100 Rose Bowl tickets each director and the city manager are allowed to buy, as well as to the 400 tickets allocated to volunteers and such city departments as police and fire.

From now on, names and addresses of those who buy or are given tickets by officials will be made public. And the secondary recipients will have to agree in writing not to resell the tickets. In addition, the city directors decided that they should limit their own sale of the tickets to friends, relatives and those who live and work in Pasadena.

The vote was 5 to 1, with only Mayor John C. Crowley opposed. "I think we are being defensive," he said. "It is the press that has put us in the position of doubting our ethical practices. I'm perfectly content with the way it works."

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