The co-owner of a popular bar and restaurant in Burbank was arrested a third time in less than a week after he was caught removing sandbags that had been placed in front of the business by city employees, officials said.
Officers arrested 20-year-old Lucas Lepejian, who co-owns Tinhorn Flats with his father Baret Lepejian, at about 9:40 a.m. Tuesday for “altering efforts the city has implemented to prevent entry into the establishment, due to the unsafe conditions and to be compliant with the city’s safety codes,” according to Sgt. Emil Brimway with the Burbank Police Department.
Lepejian was immediately released with a citation and is scheduled to appear in court at a later date, Brimway said.
Before Tuesday’s arrest at Tinhorn Flats, Lepejian was arrested on April 1 on suspicion of violating a court order, and again on April 2 for the same offense, according to police, adding that the first two arrests did not occur at the bar.
The city and the Western-themed bar have been embroiled in a months-long legal dispute over its right to reopen in violation of public health orders, as the Lepejian family has continually sought to operate onsite without permits throughout much of the pandemic and related lockdowns.
Last month, a judge issued a temporary restraining order against Tinhorn Flats after the bar continued to operate indoors and without masks, distancing or capacity requirements despite multiple requests for it to comply with pandemic-related restrictions. The city also got a judge to sign off on disconnecting electricity from the bar.
The temporary restraining order against the bar remains in effect pending a hearing scheduled for Friday.
The city has maintained that the bar and restaurant is an ongoing public nuisance.
Meanwhile, following Lepejian’s release from jail on Tuesday, Tinhorn Flats said in an Instagram post that it “will not comply.”