47-year old Ronald Michael Barrera, owner of the Westend Bar (located on 19th Street in Costa Mesa), was arrested for violating business restrictions regarding COVID-19. According to ABC 7 Eyewitness News, Westend Bar operated during curfew hours (between 10 p.m and 5 a.m.).
Barrera was charged with a misdemeanor count for disobeying safety rules during the pandemic. 26-year old Luisza Giulietta Mauro, manager of the Westend Bar, was also charged with a misdemeanor for preventing police entry on December 12th. Both Barrera and Mauro are set for arraignment on June 22nd. The two will face a year in jail if they’re convicted.
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control had responded to the Westend Bar several times before since the lockdown on November 19th. Prosecutors revealed that the bar had 50-70 people inside during closing time. ABC 7 News also added that face masks were not worn and social distancing was not enforced inside the Westend Bar.
District Attorney Todd Spitzer said that it was unacceptable for a business to not follow certain restrictions regarding COVID-19.
The C.A District Attorney’s Office have offered alternatives to their jail sentences, resolving the case using educational courses involving the C.A Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
When taking interviews for opinions on the situation, Costa Mesa resident Brenda Ortega said, “I get it, everybody wants to work, but it’s just being really risky. We have to protect ourselves. If we don’t protect ourselves, this thing is not going to go away”.