FIGHT, FOR YOUR RIGHT, TO PAAAAARTY… Squid was cruising through Salinas on Feb. 27, while classic Beastie Boys thumped through the jalopy’s speakers. But then Squid heard the thrumming of amplified bass in the air, along with the cheering of a crowd.
And then it occurred to Squid that Squid was hearing not only live music, but live music fans too.
Squid turned the jalopy toward the sounds and onto Rianda Circle – near the Salinas Police Department’s new headquarters – and came across a spectacle: A stage, with lighting and sound, and a performance by the band Los Bandadosos.
Squid tried to join the party, but then remembered there’s a pandemic going on.
That’s about when two Salinas police officers arrived. They searched for whoever was running the concert and out came Hector Campos, an owner, along with his nephew Sal Jimenez, of Banker’s Casino and Hacienda Bar & Grill. Campos was not happy to see the officers. According to city correspondence obtained by one of Squid’s human colleagues via the California Public Records Act, Campos demanded to know why the cops were on his property, even pulling the “Do you know who I am?” line. An SPD supervisor was summoned; Campos was issued a citation and was told the concert had to end. After signing the citation, according to the correspondence, Campos threw an officer’s pen on the ground and again told them to leave. The interaction was captured on the officers’ body-worn cameras.
Campos tells one of Squid’s colleagues a different version of events. While the SPD says there were 150 people in attendance, video Campos provided shows about 30. And those 30, he says, were either crew members or family members of the band, who were livestreaming a performance via a private Facebook group. Campos says he rents the warehouse on the property to a sound company, and this was their event. He was there as the property owner, not to promote a concert. He also says there was no $20 door charge, as the police contend, because it wasn’t a public event.
Campos halted the concert and the crowd dispersed. But emails are forever.
“Mr. Campos’ demeanor toward our officers and his blatant refusal to obtain proper city permits for such an event shows he feels he’s above all this and untouchable,” Cmdr. Lalo Villegas wrote in a memo to Chief Adele Fresé and deputy chiefs Roberto Filice and Manny Martinez.
The city’s Code Enforcement division is going to determine if extra citations are warranted. Given that the city’s Community Development Director Megan Hunter noted in the correspondence that Campos “has a long history of flagrant code violations,” more citations wouldn’t be a surprise to Squid.