Ethnic epithet elicits explosive exchange Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Danville Weekly Online, on Jul 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm
A 44-year-old Danville man is facing charges, following a fight. Danville Police Sgt. Kevin Daley said officers were called to Vinoteca on Prospect Ave. around 11 p.m. on July 10 on a report of a fight. The victim, a 56-year-old Walnut Creek man, reported to police that he had been attacked in the bar and head-butted.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 16, 2009, 2:21 PM
Posted by Anon, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2009 at 10:40 am
The accuracy of this article is more true than not. I told him to sit his drunk *** down and his interpretation of what I said was the racial epithet. I had my back to him between he and my wife and because I refused to address his ridiculous behavior, Gerard Powers decided to take about 5 steps back and as I was turning my head to see if he was finally going to sit down somewhere he came forward headbutting me in the ear. How would I have known the guy was Irish?
Posted by Anon, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2009 at 10:45 am
BTW, Gerard Powers headbutted me one time and I picked up the phone and called 911 at once, the bar tender (Victor) decided to throw my wife and I out. When witnesses stepped forward and told Victor that we didn't do anything he then threw out Gerard Powers. For the incident in a whole Vinoteca is completely responsible. Gerard Powers was drunk and clearly has a problem. Vinoteca, is a problem waiting to happen.
Posted by Al Iteracione, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2009 at 11:25 am
I "like" the alliterative headlines -- which should have been clear from my pseudonym. Last week featured 'Ds', this week 'Es' -- can't wait for my next issue!
I DO have a problem with establishments who serve booze to folks with a .31 alcohol level, because if they'll do that, then they'll probably let 'em leave in that condition. Your liver is your own business -- your driving, however, is mine, too.
Geoff -- howsabout stopping by our new star restaurant and inquiring about their brand-new precautions to ensure they're not foisting off these drunks on an unsuspecting local population?
Posted by Sam Cooke, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2009 at 11:43 am
I find this article extremely one sided and somewhat disturbing. I find it hard to believe that when police officers are called to the scene in Danville that they only take comments from a drunk white guy and not from the other party. It leads me to believe that there may be additional information that is not being reported on. Was the attacked party a minority of any sorts? Is racism still alive in the US not only in small backwoods towns in states like Alabama, but also in our so called progressive state of California in communities where money is present? Are there racist police officers in Danville? Is this not a country where we are taught at a young age that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?"I would truly appreciate a follow up by the Danville Weekly that takes the other side into account and does not make it seem like a poor drunk white man had the right to assault someone based on being called a name.
Posted by johnny5, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 17, 2009 at 4:06 pm
Well, if you are in a bar and you do, in fact, call someone a "big nosed Irish Bastard" you might be lucky that a head butt is all you get. Not that it is a decent response to punch someone - if that is indeed what occurred - but in some places that's what you get, deserved or not. Don't cry foul if you provoke the Irish bastard!
Posted by Rick, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2009 at 8:14 am
Hah! The Danville Weekly trying to protect white people over minorities?! Hah! You, Sam Cooke, Obviously don't know that all media is contaminated, overtaken by the virus of self-loathing called, for lack of a better word, liberalism. Danville's no exception. You gotta rip it out of them.
"Is this not a country where we are taught at a young age that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?" I would truly appreciate a follow up by the Danville Weekly that takes the other side into account and does not make it seem like a poor drunk white man had the right to assault someone based on being called a name."
Hah! Go into Berkeley at night and call a black guy you know what. If you're not rolling with more guys and more guns, you'll not come out alive. Ever heard of the Jena 6. The black community around america came to those black kids side for gang-beating a white kid who called them that. They gang-beat him like a bunch of cowards, and BET brought them on their awards show, for all of Black America to applaud.
Posted by Mystic, a resident of another community, on Jul 18, 2009 at 2:36 pm
Sounds to me like they both got what was coming to them. I'd be pleasantly surprised if this is the very first time the victim got bruised as a direct result of his choice of words. Even if it's not the first time, perhaps the experience might serve as a valuable lesson. I've found that it is very difficult to reason with someone actively insane. Anyone "obviously intoxicated" is certainly not likely to be "reasonable," and it's usually fair to say such a person is "not in their right mind."
As for the inebriated and arrested person: perhaps he does have a problem. Most people are comatose with such a high BAC. His choices led him to be incapable of ignoring an insult (real or imagined). I'd also be surprised if he has no criminal record directly related to his drinking.
I'd caution both to be attentive to the results of their actions. Lessons experienced but not learned have a nasty habit of being repeated over and over again.
Posted by tony, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2009 at 5:11 pm
The Danville cops are a real JOKE...........they need to be trained on how to handle situations. I watched 7 COP CARS, and some cars had two cops it it, TRY to get a drunk off the Iron Horse Trail.....he was screaming and yelling at people as they rode or walked by and he was sitting there drinking beer when they pulled up. It took all the of them, probably 10 DANVILLE COPS, to get one drunk in their car and two days later the same jerk was sitting in the same spot doing the same thing. Don't you think they would have the BRAINS to keep an eye on this spot as the same drunks hang out there and bother people EVERYDAY. I think The Danville Police Dept. needs to be put under a microscope. The cops are the most unfreindly group of officers I have ever seen. They won't ever smile or wave when they walk or drive around. They think they are really something. I walked past an Afro-American cop the morning of the parade and said "good morning" to him and he just kept walking like he was too good for me. This type of behavior makes me sick. Something needs to be done about this! We are the ones who are paying them and I don't think they understand this. One must have to fit into the same catagory to become a Danville Officer because almost all of them act the SAME!!!!!! I have never seen this in any Police force before and I have been around! This insident at Vinatecha could have happened at any spot in town, why pick on the new guys....they will learn in time!
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm
Tony, you hit the nail on the head as well. I am a business owner here in town and I have had a few occasions where I needed police help and they cant even show up to the business. THEY CALL YOU BACK ON THE PHONE!!!!!!! I have never heard of this measure! While I am waiting for an officer to show up, I watched 7 police cars pass my business.....then I get a freeking phone call. I think the business owners in this town desirve better service than this. I also agree, they are all, for the most part, very DRY and UNFRIENDLY! Lets all get together and see if we can shake that dept. up.........after all it is us who are paying their salarys!
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2009 at 5:34 pm
After reading the last two postings I must say I agree 100%!!!!!
The funny thing is that the fire fighters from the San Ramon Valley Fire District are about the most friendly and professional group of guys and gals around. Maybe the Danville Police should take lessions from them!
Posted by CK, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2009 at 9:41 pm
1.) Anon, or is it Michael H? Even if your headbutting story were true, it is a ridiculous accusation that the staff or ownership of Vinoteca had anything to do with it.
2.) In your words above you state, “I told him to sit his drunk *** down and his interpretation of what I said was the racial epithet.” Clearly you perceived him to be drunk so, applying some sort of common sense, do you think it wise to talk to a drunk person like that? Maybe just lay low or try not to provoke a drunk guy. Let’s try a little role reversal here: Some random white guy walks up to you at Vinoteca and says “Sit your black a** down!” How might you react to that? Your black he’s telling you to sit your black *** down…he’s drunk and your telling him to sit is drunk *** down. Seems harmless in your eyes, right?
3.) Your feeble attempt to somehow justify or plead your case with comments to this article and on Yelp doesn’t help your “I’m the victim” argument. I imagine playing the victim card is nothing new to you.
4.) Furthermore, I am having an even harder time believing the “pooor me victim card” with comments like you make on your Yelp review of Vinoteca “The crowd resembled a mix of the Jersey housewives and real world with the muscle bound, steroid shooting posers that cause problems wherever they go.” Oh and worse., “…there were people in there apologizing for the skin head that encouraged the "headbutter's" action” Slightly prejudice maybe Mr. H? I can’t imagine that you hadn’t made some snide comment to the drunk guy.
5.) There are clear discrepancies with your stories as you so romantically describe on Yelp and this article, which, LUCKILY the Danville Police will investigate to the fullest. You people jumping on the anti-cop/conspiracy bandwagon don’t seem to realize that both Mr H here and Mr Powers are innocent until proven guilty. The police need to to their due diligence with the investigation and I sure hope Mr H’s comments here can somehow be used with that. If you’re telling the truth, your story doesn’t change that drastically.
6.) It seems that you have gone out of your way in your Vinoteca review on Yelp and in response to this article to trash talk about the restaurant as a result of your alleged incident.
7.) I should note: I have ZERO affiliation with Vinoteca, have actually NEVER eaten there and only been inside a few times during the day just to look at how they rebuilt the space from the previous tenant. I do live in Danville, have my whole life, and most definitely find it more appalling that you try to turn your “oops maybe shouldn’t have made that sarcastic comment to the drunk guy at the bar” night into some Danville is a racist town and that Vinoteca is somehow responsible for that.
8.) Get over it and stop throwing yourself a pity party.
Posted by Rick, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 19, 2009 at 7:57 am
When are our cops gonna put a lid on the Rylan Fuchs murder case. For those who don't know, Rylan was a local highschooler who was shot by a Richmond gangbanger brought into Danville via the Upright Treatment Center, a group home. We all know the murderer. The little bastard text messages Rylans friends immediately after the murder saying "you play with fire and you'll get burnt." why haven't our cops finished their investigation? It's been more than half a year. What other major cases are they working on. The Danville weekly blamed the victim for his own murder in their agenda to defend bringing criminals into our town via group homes. The murderer is black. That's why it was hilarious to me when the poster going by Sam Cooke said the media and cops were racist in favor of white people. It's quite the opposite. Such is why, being that we can't rely on our local powers to protect us, a lot of us bought our own guns and are taking ours and our childrens protection into our own hands.
Posted by Tony, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 19, 2009 at 4:30 pm
Rick, your comment about the weekly got me curious. If they really did blame the victim then you and everybody else would have a right to be mad. So I searched the back issues and found the article you talked about. I find your interpretation of it misleading at best and outright fabrication at worst. Are you deliberately misunderstanding it so you can yell at the newspaper? The article he talks about is here folks. Make up your own minds on what it says.
Posted by Michel H, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 8:39 am
Reply To CK's Interpretation to my comments.
My conscience is clear and I have no desire to defend myself against accusations hurled by you or anyone else. Had you been at Vinoteca and witnessed what went on you would pay attention and not be so judgmental. Three I dont's from me to you - I don't drink alcohol, I don't lie and I don't call people names. Take it or leave it!
Posted by Rick, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 9:57 am
For one thing, Tony, you can not be the same tony who posted about the cops being jerks above my previous comment. New Tony seems like someone who works for the Danville Weekly. You can confirm or deny that.
Anyway, please, everyone, read that article. Read it and see how they place zero fault on the murderer. In no way do they single out the suspect as being the one who caused this tragedy. No, what the Danville Weekly describes as the cause is that Rylan consorted with the wrong people. And I quote:
"Rylan Fuchs made some bad choices..."
No, he didn't. His choices are irrelevant to this case. He chose to hang with someone who adults brought into this community. If we think Rylan should've known better than to hang with this guy, WHY DID WE ADULTS NOT KNOW BETTER. WHY DID THE ADULTS, THE OFFICIALS OF THIS COMMUNITY, BRING LIKELY THUGS AND MURDERERS INTO DANVILLE!!!
"The death of a young person must be mourned...whether the child dies from disease, drinking and driving, or consorting with questionable companions."
Need I say more. The Danville Weekly is putting Rylan's MURDER in the realm of disease or drinking and driving. Okay, that's obvious obfuscation. He wasn't stricken randomly by something we have relatively little control over, such as disease. The "drinking and driving" comment is far more telling. Someone who causes their own death from drinking and driving is certainly to blame. They may not have "deserved to die." However, no one would say they weren't to blame. This is how the whole article portrays Rylan, equivalent to a drunk driver, who through his poor choices caused his own death.
People need to get real on what "poor decisions" he made. HE sold pot. Big F*ing deal! He smoked pot and sold to people he knew. Well, I guess half the people I knew in highschool should've been killed. Weed is not a drug people get killed over in Danville. I went to Monte Vista in the 90s. At least a quarter of the school smoked weed. On Grad Night, fifty of us smoked on the boat, all the different cliques, girls and guys. It's a peaceful drug if anything, resulting in far less aggression than alcohol. But, I'm not here to defend pot. I'm here asserting that people don't get killed over pot in Danville. People usually sold to pay for their own stash. The people involved were not even remotely dangerous.
However, you bring in thugs from Richmond who have a totally ruthless perspective on life, well then you get people killed over nothing. Rylan could've just looked at the little bastard the wrong way. Here's the thing, I heard Rylan wasn't even "consorting" with the murderer. I heard that the little Richmond group home bastard thug was trying to establish turf. The little homie thought he could walk into this town of white boys and dominate with his intimidation. He wanted to take over the pot trade in Danville, and when Rylan went ahead and sold afterwards, probably having no idea how serious goons from Richmond can be, the thug killed him with a cowardly ambush and shot to the back of the head. The little fiend thought he could just walk into our ripe, weak community with his guns and take over. Such is why I've come to see the importance of the 2nd ammendment, because good people must have guns to protect themselves from the evil ones who think they are the only ones who got 'em.
Take note of how the Danville Weekly goes into a long defense of group homes, not once bringing up the home's method of determining whether one of their participants is dangerous or not, and how they failed miserably at keeping murderers out. There's only a few kids at that home and one of them turned out to be a cold-blooded murderer. The home has had several other problems as well, such as harassing girls and possessing guns.
Danville has never had a murder like this. These kinds of murders are only found in the ghetto. What kind of murder do I refer to? Hit murders. Murders to accomplish gang-style objectives such as turf. We had a murder a couple years back between two brothers. Those are the only ones you find in small towns, called familial murders. These are few and far between, and are between people who are passionately loathing of each other, which usually only happens between people who are very close. I don't fear myself or my children getting caught up in this. I just watch those close to me, of whom none are crazy. Gangland murders are completely different, much colder, for simple objectives and often taking down collateral victims. If we let this gang-style ethic come into our town, we'll soon be seeing more kids like Rylan being hit with other innocent kids going down in the crossfire. Then the Danville Weekly will complain about how we "don't want to live in a bubble. After all, these murders happen in Richmond and Oakland all the time."
And I quote:
The murderer "attended Danville high schools for a time while living in a group home. This has led some residents to denounce the idea of group homes in our community. But Danville is part of the greater Bay Area and the rest of the world. We don’t help anyone—including our children—by trying to shut ourselves off or believing that teens who need a home should find our doors closed to them."
For one thing, we absolutely help our children by not letting CRIMINALS into our community. After all, the victim of our naivete is a murdererd child. You who brought in that thug are responsible for Rylan's murder. That kid will not get to live his life because we couldn't have the guts and strength of mind to protect him. I will not risk our children to help others. I'm sorry. If that pisses you off, you obviously don't have children. Yes, my children mean more to me than those in Richmond, and if to help them I have to risk my own, well F*** THAT!!!
Unfortunately, it is a fact that if you bring in a bunch of "troubled teens" from Richmond, one of them AT LEAST is going to be a full-on, gun-toting, kill-you-for-anything THUG!!! Upright Treatment Center proved that they are inept at judging the good from the bad.
And I quote:
"Alamo resident Brad Blake was named Citizen of the Year by the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce last week, partly because he started a program to encourage soccer players from Richmond to go to
college. Blake understands the importance of reaching out to the greater world rather than trying to build a wall around our community."
Yeah, well Blake is an idiot. For one thing, I didn't hear any line of reasoning as to why his assertion is correct. Because he's not! You're damn right I want to live in a fortress when it comes to my children. If the Greater Bay Area sucks, well that don't mean I'm gonna let Danville turn into a cesspool of murderers. Real men don't go with the flow, saying "well it's like that everywhere else." Well, then I guess we're not gonna be like everywhere else. Real men build walls and stand guard against those who would prey on their children.
I will paraphrase the Weekly:
"The death of a young person must be mourned and we must seek any lessons that come from it..." and "ask ourselves questions about how, why and what we can do to make sure this does not happen again..."
I could not agree more. And the lesson is that group homes are dangerous and not worth the death of another of our children. That group home will be gone soon. Of this, I am now sure, for I have met too many people in this area who are just as equally furious. We are the majority. We will be heard.
Posted by Tony B., a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 10:52 am
Regarding the incident that occurred at Vinoteca, bar punch-ups and brawls don't discriminate based on the community/town or ethnic make-up of the patrons. One only has to look up the road to neighbouring Walnut Creek with its thriving city centre area and the multitude of bars and nightspots. Walnut Creek police have their hands-full, especially at the weekends, as rowdy patrons spill-out onto the pavement to have a punch-up or two, alas, fuelled by excessive alcohol consumption, and the perception that someone was being disrespectful to one person or a group of patrons.
Regarding the comments about the Danville police department, one has to remember that the Town of Danville contracts for police services from the Sheriff's department, as do the towns of Lafayette, Oakley and Orinda. Deputies rotate through the Danville department, so it does make consistency of personnel a bit more problematic, than if Danville had its own department. (The issue of the Town of Danville forming its own PD, or combining with another agency for multi-town police protection is currently under review by Danville town officials.)
Posted by Ron, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 5:45 pm
This victim is an idiot. Tells a drunk to shut up and sit down and expects that to happen? He then blames everything on the drunk and the bar and even says the drunk has a problem. You were in that bar so you have a problem as well. Heres a hint, your not 25 anymore and you are going to loose more fights than you will win so stay home where you can keep your mouth shut and stay out of Danville you idiot.
Posted by Ron, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 5:58 pm
One last comment - Danville cops are rude and not friendly. I dont want to be their friend but the few times I had to talk to a cop or had a run in, I walked away thinking the cop was a jerk everytime. It was mostly thier attitude.
Posted by Tony, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 10:07 pm
No I'm not the other Tony as can be seen. He's Tony B. And I don't work for the Danville Weekly. All I said was you were trying your hardest to skew that editorial to make it the worst it could be. I don't agree with you. I don't interpret what they are saying that way. So we don't agree. I'm not losing sleep over it as I'm sure you're not.
Posted by Rick, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 6:59 am
I was not trying at all to skew the article. It is blatantly blaming the victim. I gave a long description, referencing the specific excerpts. Tell me, where was I wrong. Was the Danville Weekly not constantly harping on the "choices" Rylan made to "cause the tragedy?" Did they not compare his murder to drunk driving? Did they not appear to have an agenda defending group homes?
Of course they did. The article stinks of liberalism, making sure that we keep group homes in our community regardless of the fact that such homes brought about a boy's murder.
Posted by Rick, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2009 at 7:08 am
"The death of a young person must be mourned...whether the child dies from disease, drinking and driving, or consorting with questionable companions."
This quote from the Weekly is most telling. Rylan did not die from consorting with questionable companions. He died because some little bastard thug MURDERED him. THE ADULTS WHO RUN THIS COMMUNITY ALLOWED THOSE "QUESTIONABLE COMPANIONS" INTO OUR COMMUNITY. RYLAN DIED BECAUSE WE ALLOWED SUCH THUGS TO CONSORT WITH OUR CHILDREN!!!!!!!!
WELL NO MORE
you who defile a murdered kid's name will have your karmic comeuppance. you who blame a kid for dying at the hands of your agendas will pay
Posted by Michael H., a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on Jul 22, 2009 at 8:15 am
I do have a problem Ron. I have a problem understanding how people like you can have so much hate stored up? I was wrong for telling that drunk to sit down. That means he should head butt me? You have an interesting take on life Ron, BTW, I drink Diet coke when I go out. I have great wines at home I am not 25 and that's why I chose a wine bar with good music to take my wife on a date to. Ron, even if I could I would not stay out of Danville. My strong faith will not allow me to believe that people with similar attitudes as yours exist throughout this great country and I will go where I want, when I want and if that means I have to deal with you and people like you, then I welcome the challenge. There was grace given to the drunk and his narrow minded crew by my calling the police and not reacting to the taunting. Gerard Powers, should be thanking me for getting him off the streets before he got behind the wheel of his car and killed someone. He'd be jailed for murder instead of a simple battery. If you care about your friends and Danville so much Ron why, wouldn't you want it to be a friendlier, more warm welcome place for everyone to come to as opposed to displaying the racial hatred that you express in your comment? Ron, you have deep seeded issues, extreme bitterness that tends to guide you towards rage, that statement is based on the way your comment was written and the choice of words used. Ron, anytime you feel like discussing these issues please, let me know.
Posted by Michael H, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on Jul 22, 2009 at 8:31 am
CK, I did not trash talk Vinoteca in fact if you read the complete comment I made, you would see that my first sentence was about what I thought of Vinoteca. What I did trash talk was the horrible customer service. When the bartender sees a problem he/she is responsible in many ways and the bartender was slow to respond, belligerent and not comfortable at all with a situation such as the one he had to face that night. Basically, immature in his role as a manager/bartender and lacking the sense that it takes to pore a drink. Let's not forget CK, you were serving a man that had 0.31 bac and you want to believe that only Gerard Powers was the one person that did something wrong? If you are the bartender then you need to understand that what you did was criminal. You, have a responsibility and citizens are supposed to trust that when a Gerard Powers comes into your establishment, that you will be mature and experienced enough to handle the responsibility of serving alcohol. Vinoteca should be talked about for one reason only and that is because they entrusted a responsibility to someone that clearly is challenged with a task that he cannot accomplish.
Posted by BobbyD, a resident of the Walnut Creek neighborhood, on Jul 22, 2009 at 12:53 pm
I've worked in the bar industry for a number of years, and have many friends which still do. I don't know anything about the bar in question, however I do feel the need to express my opinion. After all, that is what Comment sections are for:
Giving Vinoteca the benefit of the doubt, lets assume Mr. Powers got most of his alcohol elsewhere. Someone allowed him to enter in his drunk state, and possibly served him more drinks. Coupling that with the incident which occured as a direct result of him being there, whoever let him in: bouncer or bartender, should have been fired the next day.
If in fact Mr. Powers drank most of his booze at Vinoteca, then the bartender should definately be fired for his horrible judgement, which was as much a cause of the incident as either of the two men involved. As a bartender, you have to understand that people have a limit, and that limit is not how much cash they have on hand, or how far they will let their tabs run up. The more people drink, the more belligerent the Mr. Powers' of the world get. Maybe the bartender should work as a barback for a while until he acquires this knowledge. At the next bar that is, because he should be fired from Vinoteca.