Petaluma bar's liquor license suspended for violations

June 10, 2011 1:38:06 PM PDT
The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has suspended for one month the liquor license of a Petaluma bar where patrons confronted police in December.

The 30-day license suspension of The Rocks Bar & Lounge at 146 Kentucky St. took effect June 1.

ABC spokesman John Carr said The Rocks Bar & Lounge was cited for "disorderly house violations" that include "numerous calls, fights and public drunkenness."

The bar also was placed on three years' probation. Any similar violations could result in revocation of the bar's license, Carr said.

Owners of the downtown establishment were not immediately available for comment. The bar's business phone has been disconnected.

Petaluma police Lt. Tim Lyons said Thursday the business has closed for a month. Police calls to the nightspot have decreased since the end of last year, Lyons said.

Two people were arrested, a police officer was bitten by a police dog and a pedestrian was struck by a Sonoma County sheriff's car after a large crowd outside the bar got out of control around 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 14, police said.

According to police, a Sebastopol man named Timothy Traylor, 22, had allegedly been climbing on sound equipment inside the establishment. When security staff attempted to kick him out, he allegedly punched one of them.

When the Petaluma officers showed up, security staff asked them to arrest Traylor for battery, police said.

Traylor, however, allegedly resisted the officers as they attempted to take him into custody, and a friend of his, 22-year-old Healdsburg resident Kathleen Zanoline, allegedly tried to physically intervene in the arrest, police said.

The officers repeatedly told Zanoline to move back, but she refused, police said.

The officers called for all on-duty officers in the city to respond to help control the crowd as more people came out of the bar and began to move toward the officers, police said. Several intoxicated people were allegedly verbally challenging the officers.

Petaluma police also requested assistance from nearby agencies, and a total of 20 officers from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, the Cotati Police Department, the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety, and the California Highway Patrol responded to help.

At one point during the incident, someone tried to approach a Petaluma officer's police dog. Another officer intervened, and the dog bit the officer.

Also during the chaos, a sheriff's deputy was backing up his patrol car slowly with his emergency lights on when someone walked behind the vehicle and was hit.

The person was not seriously hurt, but was transported to a local hospital to be treated for a complaint of pain, police said.

The officers ordered the crowd to disperse south on Kentucky Street toward Western Avenue and formed a line to move people in that direction, police said.

Several people had to be physically moved because they allegedly refused to disperse, police said.

It took the officers about an hour to completely disperse the crowd.

The Rocks Bar & Lounge's owners and management denied there was a fight or brawl in or outside the bar that night.

Their statement said patrons became frustrated about what they believed was excessive force used on Traylor and they started verbally protesting the scene causing police to take control of the crowd.

Petaluma police said in December they responded to more than 50 calls for service at The Rocks in 2010 and the calls had become more frequent toward the end of the year.

In September, a 22-year-old woman inside the bar was attacked with a wine glass by an Oceanside woman who cut in front of her to use a bathroom stall. The woman was cut on the left arm, nose, lower lip and suffered bruises on her face, according to police.

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