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Local Officials Fence Off Restaurant For Defying Lockdown Orders, Fine Them $50,000

(Photo credit SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

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A California city erected a chain-link fence on Saturday around a local restaurant that refuses to obey COVID-19 restrictions, according to reports.

Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill in Burbank was barricaded off from the public to prevent the owners from operating after a court ordered the electricity to be shut off, according to NBC Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff issued a preliminary injunction Friday which allowed the city to prevent the restaurant from opening without a county health permit and a city conditional use permit, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The judge previously allowed the city to padlock the doors and turn off the electricity, according to Fox 11. The restaurant, however, used generators and cut the locks to remain open, according to the report. (RELATED: LA Lockdowns: How Will It Impact Restaurant Owners?)

The Burbank City Council voted in February to revoke its permit after the establishment violated Los Angeles’ ban on outdoor dining, KTLA reported. The restaurant had 124 complaints levied against it for permitting outdoor dining in December alone and was issued a cease and desist order in January from the county, according to the report.

The recent fencing, however, has set off a string of demonstrations, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The son of the owner, Lucas Lepijian, was arrested Tuesday after he removed sandbags in front of the building meant to prevent people from entering, according to the Times. He was cited and released hours later, according to the report.

Baret Lepejian, the owner of Tinhorn Flats, said he was proud his son’s actions and would not be paying the $50,000 fine, according to the Times.

“Show me one shred of evidence how I am endangering the public,” he reportedly said. “This has never been about safety or the public. It’s never been about that. This whole thing is about fear and control.”