Just after 1 a.m. on Saturday, August 16, officers arrived at El Paseo Restaurant at 813 Anacapa St. after hearing reports from El Paseo security that an armed man was attempting to enter the restaurant. Security also told officers that the man had been seen in the restaurant with the gun. After a brief struggle, the man was handcuffed. A search revealed not only a loaded nine-millimeter semiautomatic handgun but also a small amount of marijuana and a bottle of vodka in the man’s boot.
The man, revealed to be 43-year-old Javier Esparza, was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and possessing less than an ounce of marijuana.