Somali Pirate Business Hijack Ratified By City Manager

Stephen Downing

In a Dec. 17, 2018 letter to Tracy Alcantar – owner of the Acapulco Inn who was featured in a two-part Beachcomber news series headlined “LBPD Backs Somali Pirates” – City Manager Patrick West ratified the actions of the Long Beach police officers that used their authority to sanction the “Somali Pirates” takeover of Alcantar’s business without a proper court order.

West’s letter, which closed the IAD investigation 14 months after originally filed by Alcantar, said, “I have determined that your allegation of unbecoming conduct was not supported by the facts established. Therefore, this allegation has been classified as unfounded.”

The city’s written definition of unfounded is: “The investigation indicates the alleged act did not occur.”

In his letter West did not detail the “facts established,” nor did he address what the LBPD policy is when officers are assigned to handle a “civil business dispute.”

West also did not address the LBPD’s failure to dispatch supervisors to the scene as requested by Alcantar – a requirement spelled out in the LBPD policy and procedures manual.

In the Beachcomber’s original reporting on the business hijack three former chiefs of police (one from Long Beach) a former LAPD police commission executive director, the chair of Law Enforcement Action Partnership and a former LASO police lieutenant and constitutional rights attorney were polled with the question:

“In your career as a police officer have you ever enforced, endorsed or supported a policy addressing civil business disputes in which officers were authorized to turn over a privately-owned business to a third party without a court order?”

The reply was unanimous: “No.”

The content of the Los Angeles Police Department’s written policy that mandates how police officers are required to handle business disputes is similar to that required by professional police organizations across the country. It reads:

“Involvement by members of this department (in a civil dispute) shall be limited to preventing criminal activity and encouraging all parties to pursue appropriate civil remedies. Officers shall scrupulously avoid taking sides in any civil dispute or giving the appearance that this may be the case. Exceptions may be made in the event of a request for assistance by a governmental agency whose responsibilities include executing civil processes.”

Alcantar said, “When I originally made the complaint I wanted the city to acknowledge that their officers made a very harmful, expensive and improper decision in forcing me out of my business by allowing the takeover without a court order.

“I originally filed the complaint to give the LBPD an opportunity to fix the problem. But, that didn’t happen. So, I filed the lawsuit on the same day that I received the city manager’s letter telling me that none of what I complained about even happened. But now I understand what was going on and I’ve never seen anything so blatantly corrupt.”

In October 2018, when Alcantar first told his story to the Beachcomber, he described the business takeover crew as “Somali Pirates,” referring to the year 2000 piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia that threatened international shipping when Somali Pirates were enabled to hijack ships with impunity because of the absence of an effective national coast guard.

In addition to the lawsuit against the LBPD, Alcantar and his business partner, Aristides Gascon, are suing those who executed the takeover (the Somali Pirates) by naming each defendant and identifying their relationships to the police in the legal filing as follows:

“Defendant Jerome Chiaro, who owns a bar frequented by Long Beach Police Department police officers called “The Annex” and is close personal friends of those defendant Long Beach Police Department police officers who arrived at the Acapulco Inn on September 24, 2017; Defendant James A. Wieser who owns two “cop bars” (Brien O’Connors and Thirsty Isle) also frequented by Long Beach Police Department police officers.”

The lawsuit additionally alleges that “The former Long Beach Police Department Chief of Police, Robert Luman, has a daughter who works for and is and was employed by Weiser” and that “Defendant Jerome Chiaro is also a long time and frequent sponsor of events at his bar for the Long Beach Police Officers Association (POA), and over many years became close personal friends with the officers who allowed the invading defendants to commandeer the Acapulco Inn and to dispossess the plaintiffs therefrom.”

The $5 million lawsuit claims that after Alcantar and Gascon complied with the police officer’s order to leave the Acapulco Inn that the defendants (the Pirates) and the police officers were seen to “high-five each other and fist bump, in celebration of their unlawful, felonious and tortious take-over and theft of the Acapulco Inn.”


Stephen Downing is a resident of Long Beach and a retired LAPD deputy chief of police.




Wow, am sure Luna's kid got a pay raise after that illegal take over. The LBPD is a criminal organization that needs to be stopped. Vote out these corrupt people.

How do you call yourself a reporter? There is so much inflammatory language and a clear bias in this article. I don't get it.

For those that can't believe this story. Please continue to follow this story. The facts are facts. And all the facts will be presented to judge and jury for determining the final outcome.

The Shore can do without another problem-causing college bar.

Pretty poor reporting. This story won’t age well. The facts will continue to come out and this will be shown to be biased with questionable judgment at best to produce this salacious story without consulting the evidence or all parties involved. This is no more than a megaphone pushing one mans skewed story. And the message is supposed to be about abuses of power by trusted community institutions. Pretty ironic don’t you think. Works well as satirical comedy however.

Add new comment


Copyright 2024 Beeler & Associates.

All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced or transmitted – by any means – without publisher's written permission.