Owner: Kramer made threats

Cucina Alessa owner files a restraining order against head of Downtown Residents Assn. after alleged harassment incident.

February 23, 2011|By Mona Shadia,

A Huntington Beach restaurant owner has requested a restraining order against the head of a downtown political action organization.

Alessandro Pirozzi, the owner of Cucina Alessa, accused Kim Kramer, the spokesman of the Huntington Beach Downtown Residents Assn., of harassing his employees on and before Super Bowl Sunday.

"He occasionally entered my business, yelled at me and harassed my customers," the petition states.

Kramer allegedly made verbal threats of physical violence against Luigi Avalos, an employee at the restaurant, according to the petition filed Feb. 14.


Asked why the restraining order had been requested, Kramer said it had to do with Pirozzi's desire to serve alcohol on his patio along the sidewalk.

"We would prefer that he not" serve alcohol on the patio, Kramer said.

Kramer said the allegations of threats are simply not true.

"It's unfortunate that as a result of my community work, I have now become a target," he said. "No crime has been committed, and this is simply a civil case dispute. I read the complaint and I am shocked at the allegations, which are totally false."

Formed in 1994, the Downtown Residents Assn. strives to achieve a high quality of life in the city, according to its website.

Some of the issues the organization addresses are the problems it believes the downtown business community brings to the city, from drunk driving and other crimes.

Kramer said the association isn't against business, but it is concerned with the oversaturation of alcohol licenses in the area.

Kramer is going too far, Councilman Keith Bohr said.

Bohr said Kramer is not forthcoming about the number of people he represents downtown. The organization, he said, doesn't require a membership fee, and therefore, it's difficult to know how many people support Kramer and the board's actions.

Kramer has every right to express his concerns as a resident, but going around and intimidating businesses is crossing the line, Bohr said.

Kramer said he visited three restaurants on Super Bowl Sunday and requested to see their capacity permits.

He said he asked nicely and didn't make any demands.

Bohr and Police Chief Ken Small said they received calls with complaints about Kramer's visits.

"My whole thing is, 'Don't be scared of this guy,'" Bohr said. "You have every right to do your business, and don't let this guy intimidate you."

The restraining order was denied until the hearing date, which is scheduled at 10 a.m. Friday at the West Justice Center, 8141 13th St. in Westminster.

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