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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | NEWPORT/COSTA
MESA/IRVINE: COSTA MESA

Police Call Tavern Guard's Slaying of Patron Justified

April 04, 1998|JOHN CANALIS

In what police call a case of "justifiable homicide," a security guard at a 19th Street bar shot and killed a patron Thursday who had assaulted him with a club fashioned from a pool stick and a cue ball.

Juan Olvera Gonzalez, 28, of Costa Mesa, died early Friday following the altercation with the guard outside Garibaldi de Noche bar, Police Lt. Ron Smith said.

The altercation occurred at 11 p.m. when Gonzalez and family members sought to be readmitted through the tavern's backdoor after they were thrown out for having too much to drink, Smith said.

Gonzalez fractured the security guard's right wrist with the club, Smith said. When Gonzalez swung again, Smith said, the 30-year-old guard fired his handgun once.

Gonzalez underwent open-heart surgery at Western Medical Center-Santa Ana before he died at 1:40 a.m.

The guard has worked in uniform at the bar for four months and is licensed to carry a gun. Witnesses told officers the security guard always behaves professionally and is courteous to patrons.

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