INGLEWOOD, Calif. – A violent arrest at an Inglewood hookah lounge brings to light that the establishment possibly hired a security guard company that wasn’t properly licensed in the City.
Blake Anderson, 24, was arrested the night of Oct. 16 after deputies encountered him and found him in possession of a loaded firearm. A fact his lawyer didn’t dispute.
Anderson was not a direct employee of the Inglewood business but was employed by a security company, said Jim DeSimone, an attorney representing Anderson.
“We don’t believe it’s true,” DeSimone said of Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s allegation that Anderson was not working as a security guard and was not legally allowed to carry a firearm.
“We’re still investigating that but … our client had a reasonable belief that he was in lawful possession of that firearm and was given that firearm to do his job.”
The City has released documents related to a public records request stating that no guard company is registered with the City to perform guard services at 5006 W. Century Blvd. or with Good Batch Hookah Lounge.
The Sheriff’s department maintains Anderson is a felon who was on parole at the time of his arrest.
Anderson also alleges the violent arrest will result in the loss of one of his eyes, although the initial injury occurred prior to his arrest.
“They tried to sell the idea that somehow we blinded him and he was working,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a news conference days after the arrest.
The sheriff’s department stated “Anderson had a previous traumatic injury which he sustained in an unrelated incident prior to contact with deputies,” but did not elaborate on whether the injury was exacerbated due to the use of force.
Anderson’s lawyers held a press conference Oct. 21 but failed to name who he was allegedly hired to work for or who in fact provided him the gun found at the scene.
They disclosed Anderson’s injury to his eye happened prior to his arrest but alleges the violent nature of the arrest aggravated the injury.
They didn’t disclose whether Anderson is licensed to work as an armed guard either.
Some Inglewood residents are concerned with the over proliferation of hookah lounges when a public hearing was held on the matter in June.
Residents said they were dangerous and this incident leads credence to that notion when an unlicensed security guard is allowed to be armed without the proper licenses from the City and state.