I doubt if anyone reading this knows the name Mario Beltran. Mario is a city councilmember in Bell Garden, a small city about 5-7 miles from downtown. He is also the district director for Senator Ron Calderon. The Southeast LA villages that Senator Calderon represents have a long history of sordid politics and nasty feuding.
What does this have to do with downtown?
Well, Mario recently got into some trouble. The poor guy had a rough night and ended up at the Huntington Hotel on Main between 7th and 8th. Every news report about the Huntington Hotel describes the joint as a den of iniquity -- Ok, its a brothel. It seems Mario had a little too much to "drink" at the 740 Club on Broadway and mosied over to the Huntington Hotel for some action. The melee that ensued included Mario supposedly assaulting a woman, losing his belongings in a scuffle with a 'worker' at the hotel, and even dropping the 'n bomb' during the altercation. It all sounded pretty crazy.
What is also intriguing is the role of 740 Club Owner, Ralph Verdugo. As the LA Weekly tells us, Mario's drunken rage at the 740 Cluband beyond was far from the first major fracas that the club has caused. The place has a rap sheet that goes on and on. If you have ever walked by the club on a Friday or Saturday night you can't miss the huge crowd trying to get in. The place is usually hopping. But check out some of the most recent problems the joint has encountered:
"According to the LAPD, one woman was found lying unconscious there earlier this month with her pants and underpants pulled down. Authorities found evidence she had had sex, and police are investigating the incident as a possible sexual assault. Last August, a man identified as Roman Alvarado was stabbed in the 740 Club parking lot, allegedly by a member of the White Fence gang, after a fight broke out inside the club, and died from his stab wounds two weeks later." LA Weekly
What is even more crazy about the story is the connections that Verdugo has developed with some of LA's politicos, including our own councilmember Huizar. Huizar held a private fundraiser at the club last year, and has taken money from Verdugo and his associates. Yet recently, Huizar has complained that the 740 Club does not fit his vision for this section of Broadway.
Good for Huizar, I guess. The City Attorney and our very own police captain, Andrew Smith, are pursuing nuisance charges with the hope of shutting the place down.
I don't know what to think of this whole ordeal. I know Mario is not a bad guy. He just got messed up after hanging with the wrong crowd for too long one night. However, dropping the 'n bomb' is inexcusable. So is a drunken woman with no underpants.