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Submitted by on 1, July 12, 2009 – 3:42 pm4 Comments

Updated 5:23 p.m. Sunday, July 12

Three men were stabbed in what police described as a melee that erupted in a Park Street restaurant early this morning. Police have two suspects in custody at the city jail.

The stabbing victims were taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland to be treated for their wounds, and police said one of them, a 24-year-old Oakland resident who was stabbed in the chest, was stable after emergency surgery there. Two others, a 22-year-old Hayward man and a 25-year-old Alameda man, were treated for wounds that Alameda Police Lt. Paul Rolleri said were not life-threatening.

A fourth victim, a 24-year-old Alameda man, was hit over the head with a bottle. Rolleri said he drove himself to the hospital for treatment.

The two 21-year-old suspects in the stabbings, whose names and cities of residence have not yet been released, were also injured, Rolleri said. The pair are being held in the Alameda City Jail on $30,000 and $31,500 bail (the second suspect was also charged with public intoxication) and are expected to go to court tomorrow to face assault with a deadly weapon charges.

Rolleri said police were called at 2:37 a.m. today to La Pinata restaurant on Park Street. He said the suspects and the victims got into an argument that erupted into a melee that saw chairs and tables overturned and customers in the packed restuarant fleeing for the exits.

Rolleri said the suspects and the victims did not appear to know each other, and he said he didn’t yet know what had precipitated the argument.

The fight followed Alameda’s annual Park Street Pub Crawl, an informal event that Rolleri said is usually held the first Saturday after July 4. Rolleri couldn’t yet say whether the suspects or the victims had participated in the event, though he said he thinks many of the restaurant’s patrons likely had.

The restaurant was cleaned up and open for business when a reporter went by this afternoon.

“We used to have tons of fights and lots of arrests,” Rolleri said of the event, which he estimates has been going on for 25 years. But he said that while the department typically has extra staffing on the night of the event, the number of problems had waned in recent years, though he said police have made arrests around the event every year it has been held.

“It’s definitely a concern,” said Rolleri, who said similar events happen in other cities. “Any time you have an event where the sole purpose is to drink – it’s bad chemistry there.”

He said some places shut down in order to avoid the crowds that night, while others charge a high cover to keep out crawl participants, whose mission is to have a drink in every bar on Park Street. He said the event originally was attended by 30 to 50 people, but he estimated that several hundred were out Sunday night.

But he said police can’t stop the event because it is not sponsored by anyone. He said police send letters to local bars in advance of the event to let them know it’s happening and to remind them of their legal responsibilities that night.

“It’ll happen again next year,” Rolleri said.


  • David Howard says:

    Seems to be the trend. Violent crime in Alameda on the upswing.

    As I documented previously in this forum (see below) from 1998 – when Mayor Johnson was first elected to office – to 2008, according to the City's own annual financial review, the number of public safety officers in Alameda declined from 274 to 254 (8%) while the number of planning/building dept. staff increased from 27.5 to 37 (34%) This doesn't account for reduction in the past 6 months or so for firefighters, police and planning/building staff.

    The recent correction to City of Alameda staffing numbers – the layoffs and massive reduction of planning/building department staff are due to external catastrophe, not due to any change of policy about whether public safety or development is more important.

    The Mayor and Alameda City Council are to blame for this upswing in crime in Alameda, and the change of focus from protecting citizens to servicing developers. The purpose of municipal government is 1) to protect citizens and 2) to deliver services (parks and rec, safe streets, fill potholes, garbage collection, sewer services, etc. etc.) to citizens.

    Story on Alameda neighborhood watch in response to violent crime:

    My previous comments on public safety staffing declines:

    Summary of staffing numbers:

    Summary of crime stats for East Bay:

  • David Howard says:

    I suggested this a week or so ago… it's overdue… and nobody else has done it so far as I know….

    Click my name or see the link before for an analysis of staffing levels – public safety, planning/building, redevelopment/community development departments – over 10 years from 1999 to 2000, based solely on data from the City's Comprehensive Annual Financial Review (CAFR) document available from the City's website in the Finance Department section.

    The Public Safety staffing number per 10,000 people has been divided by 10 to bring it to a similar scale to Planning/Building and Community/Redevelopment Services.

    This is the same link:

    Now click on this link below – to show the same staffing per 10,000 chart, with indicators showing when the current Mayor and council members were elected:


    Data table that drives the charts – data drawn directly from City of Alameda CAFR report:


    So, again, my argument is that Mayor Johnson has been leading the change of focus from protecting residents to serving planners, builders, developers, and the redevelopment community.

  • Jon Spangler says:

    "To a man equipped with only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail."

    Her is what Michelle Ellson actually reported:

    "“We used to have tons of fights and lots of arrests,” Rolleri said of the event, which he estimates has been going on for 25 years. But he said that while the department typically has extra staffing on the night of the event, the number of problems had waned in recent years, though he said police have made arrests around the event every year it has been held."

    According to David Howard's comments, though, a relatively minor fight–and a less serious one than in many previous Pub Crawls at that, according to Lt. Rolleri–is evidence that there is a grand pro-development and anti-citizen conspiracy at City Hall, led by Mayor Johnson?????

    This misuse of the significance of current events is, once again, a reach too far. Howard's thesis might deserve serious consideration, but not with supporting "evidence" as irrelevant and as thin as a Pub Crawl knife fight. The fight has nothing whatsoever to do with development policies or anything else other than the sad yearly spectacle of the Pub Crawl, and to try to hijack this knife fight as support for his anti-development political agenda is equally sad and irrelevant.

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    Who is the man with only a hammer?

    Mr. Howard's comments about actual shifts in staffing are supported by facts presented by the City of Alameda's own records. He chose to make them in response to a report of an attempted murder, which under certain conditions carries a sentence of life in prison. Pretty darn serious. When was the last time that such a serious crime took place on the Pub Crawl? Does anyone recall that ever happening? Are there fewer but more serious crimes? Could it have been prevented if there were more public safety employees?

    Used to be you could go to City Hall and request to see records on one's property. A helpful person would take you over to look at permits pulled etc. Now one has to go through the fiasco of signing in, waiting to be called, meeting with an interviewer, being advised on how to make a Public Records Act request, (told to leave as there is a staff meeting concerning layoffs at 3:30) the request is presumably then forwarded to the City Attorney's staff of 10 persons for review, if approved handed back to the planning department for resolution, and then after 10 days or so, some one will actually look for the stuff. Then after a few telephone calls telling one they simply can't find it, and those calls returned indicating it really does have to exist, handing it off to a higher level staff person, more phonecalls, then looking in Engineering where the documents are stored, then an excited telephone call of the happy staffer who receives the papers from Engineering, calling to make appointments to finally come in and see or pick up the paper.

    It took 20 days what used to take 20 minutes. But I certainly see why we have some increases in all the paperwork and staff. Question: is it better? Certainly more expensive and takes longer. Would we be better off with more police/firefighters and fewer attorneys/planning staff? I am sure time will tell.

    Fact is that crime and peoples' tempers, increase in pretty direct correlation to the economy. Economy goes down, crime goes up. But the paperwork and fees at City Hall just increase.

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