CMC lieutenant flees from officer

May 15, 2009


A California Men’s Colony (CMC) lieutenant slipped away from a Pismo Beach police officer who had arrived to break up a fight in which the intoxicated officer was involved at Harry’s Night Club and Beach Bar on April 17.

Employees of the popular nightclub called for police to assist them in breaking up a clash CMC Lt. Charlie Romero was having with a woman in the bar, an employee of the club said. The unnamed woman hit Romero and the pair began to scuffle, the employee added.

Pismo Beach Police Patrol Officer Greg Benson arrived at the saloon to find Romero’s sparring partner had taken off, and the lieutenant apparently too intoxicated to drive home.

Romero reportedly asked for leniency under the color of authority; however, in this beach resort community, officers evaluate a person’s behavior and regularly allow an intoxicated party to get a ride home from a friend or in a taxi.

Benson stood by while Romero called for a cab. However, a fight broke out just south of Harry’s that temporarily took the officer’s attention away from Romero.

“The officer turned around and Romero took off,” said Pismo Beach Police Commander Mark T. Miller. “Romero obviously didn’t listen.”

Romero subsequently drove his car from the tavern heading the wrong way on Cypress Street. He was arrested for driving under the influence, according to the daily police log.

CMC officials have since demoted Romero from the Security and Investigations Gang Unit to rotating for officers off on leave.

“The off duty activity is currently under investigation,” said CMC Public Information Officer Dean Spears. “They will take whatever action is deemed appropriate at the end of the investigation.”

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Member Opinions:

By: ThomasPaine on 5/22/09 [Delete]

Typical south of the grade behavior.

By: Booty_Juice on 5/20/09 [Delete]

The PBPD is top notch. In my experience they treat people with respect and courtesy and operate with strict professional conduct.

By: WazzUp on 5/16/09 [Delete]

Sorry folks but PBPD goes by the letter of the law; “Don’t Do The Crime If You Can’t Do The Time”. If they went by the Spriit of the Law then I could see them calling you a taxi. So “If You Feel Lucky” try asking for a taxi (Take Bail Money).

By: SLOrunner on 5/16/09 [Delete]

I agree with clemintine. Hopefully the typical ‘cop haters’ we often hear from will realize that police officers don’t “always” cover up for each other.

And, cops are human too… they get into arguments, sometimes drink too much, and deal with life, like the rest of us.

By: Clemintine on 5/15/09 [Delete]

Have to disagree with you Observer.

This is news because it comforts me and other residents to know that the Pismo Police Officers were doing there job professionally.

The story also sends a message to the CMC Administrators that the public is aware of the situation thus it’s an incentive for them to handle the matter properly which I am sure they will do.

Nothing against Lt Romero, but when you screw up you sometimes deserve a spanking.

By: Observer on 5/15/09 [Delete]

This is news? No wonder the County doesn’t want you on their press release list. You guys used to dig and come up with some interesting contrarian information. Lately, a wheel seems to have fallen from your wagon.

Perhaps not reporting any stories for a while is better than reporting “stories” which debase your fledgling “publication.”

Food for thought.

By: hotdog on 5/15/09 [Delete]

I’m glad the police didn’t let him off the second time, and I don’t fault the first officer for giving Romero some slack to get an alternative ride home. According to this report all was handled correctly by the PBPD. But I do wonder why a Lt. has to hang out in a (at least formerly) creepy bar, and get in a fight with a woman to the extent the police have to be called! Cops are just people but they must be trained to make better judgments than that!