From the looks of the below video, you would think this SWAT Team was preparing to infiltrate a heavily-armed drug den. Instead, they were there to arrest a private citizen who is doing his utmost to stand for his Constitutional rights and maintain his business.
The City of Burbank has boarded up Tinhorn Flats Restaurant in an ongoing battle to shut the restaurant down completely.
The co-owner of a Burbank restaurant was arrested Thursday for allegedly violating a court order closing the business due to safety violations in the latest development in a protracted battle over pandemic restrictions.
Lucas Lepejian, 20, was arrested on a misdemeanor about 8 p.m. Thursday and was released about 10:30 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Inmate Information Center.
The restaurant was red-tagged by the city of Burbank on Wednesday after city officials said they sent a task force to inspect the business and found several “fire and safety violations.” City officials said they first issued a yellow tag as a notice that the building would be red-tagged on March 31.
Lepejian’s arrest came shortly after the restaurant reopened. He spoke with reporters outside jail.
“They were really cool and all, but they handcuffed me, put me in the back, told me I was getting arrested for the restraining order violation,” Lepejian said. “I’ve been served, like, tens of thousands of papers. I donm’t [sic] exactly know what sin [sic] all those papers. It’s all these exhibits and stuff like that, so we’ll see.”
I have reported on the Battle of Tinhorn Flats since December, when the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, in its infinite wisdom, decided to shut down outdoor dining in Los Angeles right before the peak season of the holidays. Despite a Los Angeles Superior Court judge overturning this decision, His Hairfulness Gov. Gavin Newsom had decided to shut down the entire state again. The Lepejians, and a few others, had simply had enough. They defied the Governor’s and the city’s emergency orders and remained open.
Lepejian is among a handful of owners in Los Angeles County and throughout the State, who are standing up against the arbitrary and inconsistent closure of outdoor dining due to the recent COVID-19 case and death toll increases in California. Sadly, he is not getting the attention of an Angela Mardsen or a Chef Andrew Gruel, but he needs to be. Just like with AB5, the powers that be are going after the most vocal of proponents in order to silence them, and if you follow Tinhorn Flats Burbank’s Instagram feed, you know that Lepejian has been pretty vocal about the lockdowns, mask mandates, and the host of other stupidities surrounding this pandemic.
Newsom has lifted most of the restrictions in the Counties, and according to his April 6 press conference, he plans to fully reopen the State by June 15. Even now, most of the state is open not just for outdoor dining, but indoor, as COVID cases throughout the state continue to plummet.
Instead of working with the restaurant to try and assist them in reopening safely, the City of Burbank has chosen to make Tinhorn Flats Burbank an object lesson: that you do not question the infinite wisdom of the government, even if that so-called wisdom destroys your ability to live and pay your bills. That you must OBEY every mandate, no matter how nonsensical and anti-science the mandates are.
This is the third time Lepejian has been arrested. A young man, not yet 21, who is simply trying to maintain and protect his family’s livelihood. We have Antifa thug, trust-fund babies burning down businesses, and you have this young man trying to protect his. Which one, do you think, the Left holds up as a hero?
Lepejian’s father Baret was invited on Dana Loesch’s show on The First to tell their story. The details are uglier than what has originally been reported.
“Dana, let me just say this. And I’m not speaking for myself here, I’m honestly speaking for all restaurants.”
The elder Lepejian went on to describe the narrow margins from which small businesses operate, the additional expenditures to comply with the shifting standards of the Los Angeles County Department of Health regarding restaurants, and how any further shutdowns will effectively destroy their business.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff extended any final ruling to April 9, so that the Burbank City Council and Lepejian could possibly resolve their differences. Instead, the Council chose to double down on its tyranny in order to make an example of the Lepejians and Tinhorn Flats. In the interview with Loesch, Lepejian alleged that not only had SWAT been employed to ensure Lucas Lepejian did not go to the property to try and unbar the doors, but the Burbank Vice Squad was also canvassing the property to ensure Lepejian did not attempt to go near it.
The younger Lepejian has now been arrested three times. The restaurant’s Facebook page, which had over 7,000 supporters, has been taken down without explanation.
“They literally have the wrong guy, Dana. I will sacrifice everything that I have—but I’m not going to stand down.”
The hearing is today, Friday, April 9. With the tactics employed thus far by the City of Burbank, the odds do not look to be in Tinhorn Flats’ favor.
We shall see…
If you stand for freedom, the Constitution, and reject tyranny, then stand with Tinhorn Flats. As Baret Lepejian said in the video, just going to the restaurant property to show solidarity speaks volumes.
The restaurant’s Instagram account is still up, and Lepejian posted a call to Protest in front of the restaurant on Saturday, April 10 at 2:00 p.m. You can also visit the restaurant’s website for more information on their fight.
The restaurant’s legal defense fund is here.
The full, 15 minute Baret Lepejian interview is below: