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Police May Bill Club for Visits

May 03, 2003|Joy L. Woodson | Times Staff Writer

Burbank police have been called to a popular nightclub so often in the last six months that officers are considering whether to demand that the owners pay for all the visits.

Officers have been summoned to Gitana Restaurant roughly 150 times in six months, authorities said.

The club's conditional-use permit allows three calls per month before the city can begin charging. The charge for each officer is $36.61 and for each sergeant is $45.98.

Most of the calls stem from drunken club patrons who get into fights, said police spokesman Sgt. Bruce Speirs.

Speirs said the department has not calculated how much the calls have cost the city and are now considering whether to send the Magnolia Boulevard club a bill.

"We're calculating almost minute-by-minute for the charges," he said.

The charges would be based on the number of officers, their rank and how long they were at the scene.

A recent brawl involving 50 people required more than 10 officers. One person was arrested, and an officer suffered minor injuries.

City planner Mike Forbes said he cannot recall so much sustained police activity at one nightclub.

Gitana owner Andres De Leon was out of town and could not be reached for comment.

But one employee said she disagrees with the police's stance and hoped the issue could be resolved soon.

Police said they received the greatest number of calls in December, when they responded 32 times to the establishment.

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