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Activist, Official Reportedly Scuffle at Pasadena Meeting

October 06, 1998|RICHARD WINTON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A Pasadena city official has filed a police complaint alleging that activist Danny Bakewell slammed him against a wall during a City Hall meeting over a proposal to bring a restaurant to Bakewell's Fair Oaks Renaissance Plaza shopping center.

The official, Fred Jones, told police that Bakewell, 52, assaulted him Sept. 22 in a scuffle witnessed by Pasadena's acting assistant city manager, according to a police report released Monday.

The three men met to discuss a request by Denny's Inc. for financial help from the city to locate a restaurant at Bakewell's shopping center, city officials said.

Jones, 48, the city's senior project manager for housing and development, told police he waited until Wednesday to file a complaint because of the "political issues involved in the incident."

Bakewell denies any wrongdoing. Jones did not return telephone messages.

For the last few years, Jones has overseen aspects of Bakewell's shopping center. The center, built with a $15-million municipal subsidy, was completed in June after a series of setbacks and disagreements between the developer and the city over design and other aspects of the project.

As last month's meeting began, Assistant City Manager Prentice Deadrick told police, Bakewell, president of the Brotherhood Crusade, accused Jones of "bad- mouthing" him to real estate brokers.

As Jones began to reply, the police report said, Bakewell grabbed Jones by his tie and left shoulder and shoved him backward against the wall.

Jones' head struck the wall behind him. Then the city official grabbed Bakewell by his tie, the police report said, and began pulling him over the office desk.

Deadrick separated the pair as they cursed and challenged each other.

Deadrick then ordered Jones to leave the office, according to the report. Bakewell left shortly after. But the scuffle, apparently, was not over.

Minutes later, as Deadrick walked outside near the City Hall rotunda, he saw Jones circling Bakewell with his "fists in a boxing-style stance," the report said. Bakewell raised his hands when it appeared Jones was going to punch him, the police report said.

Deadrick interceded again, the report said, and then Bakewell left.

"This is not the kind of thing we want to happen in City Hall," said Pasadena City Manager Cynthia Kurtz. "Whatever the issues, they should be handled in a different way."

"I certainly deny what Fred is saying," Bakewell said Monday. "I will be happy to meet with police to give them an accurate version of what happened. What he [Jones] is suggesting is totally inaccurate." Police said they would like to interview Bakewell. The district attorney's office will decide whether charges are warranted, said Janet Pope, a police spokeswoman.

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