CMC lieutenant flees from officer
May 15, 2009
By KAREN VELIE
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.”