The co-owner of a Burbank restaurant was facing a possible criminal charge Friday following his arrest for allegedly violating a court order closing the business due to safety violations.
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.
Lepejian’s arrest came shortly after he told Fox11 he reopened the restaurant after city crews tried boarding up the building to shut it down due to safety violations, the station reported.
“The city locked up the restaurant with wooden planks so when I came by at 11 a.m., there were wooden planks up on all the doors including the door on the inside and the only way they were able to do that was jumping our fence so that’s trespassing,” Lepejian told Fox11. “As soon as I saw that, I came in and I sawed it right off.”
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.
“There are multiple fire/life safety violations that have been brought to the business owner’s attention. These violations may create life safety hazards to any occupants in the structure,” Burbank Fire Chief Eric Garcia said in a statement..
The restaurant owners and the city of Burbank have been in a months-long dispute. The city has a civil suit in court against the restaurant.
Last week, a judge ruled he was leaving a temporary restraining order in effect pending another hearing scheduled for later this month. The next hearing is scheduled for Friday, April 9.
Officials say the restaurant and bar located on Magnolia Boulevard has repeatedly defied coronavirus health orders to close, including its refusal to stop offering outdoor dining when all in-person was banned in Los Angeles County.