[UPDATE: Thomas' Previous Slidebar Encounters] Sources: Slidebar Kitchen Placed Call Resulting in Kelly Thomas' Death

UPDATE, AUGUST 23 2011, 5:35 P.M.: We've got Slidebar co-owner Jeremy Popoff's reaction to Kelly Thomas' death, as told to local blog Fullerton Stories. See bottom of post for update.

ORIGINAL POST 4:23 P.M.: Of the many mysteries currently swirling around the death of Kelly Thomas, one rises above the rest: Who placed the phone call that led to six police officers confronting Thomas and leaving him a bloody, dying pulp?

Many names have been bandied around on message boards and during the weekly Saturday protests that have occurred outside the Fullerton Police Station since his death, but sources tell the Weekly the phone call came from downtown Fullerton's popular Slidebar Rock-n-Roll Kitchen, co-owned by Jeremy Popoff of Lit fame.


lit-house-of-blues-anaheim.5922412.87.jpg
Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
Jeremy Popoff at a Lit show at the House of Blues, Anaheim, Jan. 29, 2011.

The sources (who requested anonymity but have intimate knowledge of the incident) told the Weekly that a Slidebar manager placed a call to police because Thomas was standing outside the Slidebar's patio, glaring at customers. (Police have publicly stated that whoever placed the call was complaining that someone was breaking into cars.) The restaurant-cum-performance lounge, located at 122 E. Commonwealth Ave., sits adjacent to the Fullerton Transportation Center, where Thomas was approached July 5 by Fullerton's finest. Thomas was well-known to patrons of the many businesses around the Transportation Center, where he frequently asked for handouts from the Train Depot to the area around Slidebar.

Multiple calls were placed to the Slidebar and one to Popoff's publicist, both asking for comment; the former said a spokesperson would get back to us, the latter requested we send them written questions before commenting, which the Weekly did. Both have yet to respond at press time, and we will publish their responses when we receive them.

On the influential Friends for Fullerton's Future blog--which has far and away been the go-to guide for the Thomas killing--the comments section is alight with accusations pointing the finger at someone at the Slidebar, even though an Aug. 21 post notes the department has not disclosed from where the call for service originated. Comments on the board, which numbered 388 at noon today, ranged from the angry to downright defamatory, but none has been taken down. One of the less-inflammatory messages read that Popoff "didn't make the call. A Slidebar manager did. That person feels awful for following Jeremy's policy to call FPD in a particular manner (reporting a crime in progress) that allows them to be aggressive from the get-go." 

Reactions on Slidebar's Yelp page have been as angry. On Aug. 15, someone left a photo of Thomas in better days with the caption "Kelly before the Slidebar assisted in his murder."

kellythomasyelp.png
From the Slidebar's Yelp page...
The same Yelper also posted the infamous photo of Kelly's purpled face with another mocking caption: "Kelly Thomas. Look at this, Jeremy."

kellythomasjeremy.png
From the Slidebar's Yelp page . . .
An attempt to examine the Fullerton Police's press blotter, typically viewable by the public, resulted in a referral to the department's technical services manager, Julie Langstaff, who explained the log is only viewable for seven days following the incident, after which it is no longer available.

UPDATE, AUGUST 23 2011, 5:35 P.M.: Local blog Fullerton Stories quoted Slidebar co-owner Jeremy Popoff in an article posted on July 23, days after Kelly Thomas died. "I feel guilty ever having contempt for this guy, but if you had asked me about him a month ago, I'd have nothing good to say about him. I don't want to say it was justified, what happened. But man, Kelly scared people. We . . . were always having to kick him out of our bathrooms or tell him to leave customers alone. Then he would yell at us."

Because of those comments, a Facebook page was set up calling for a boycott of the Slidebar.

"Slidebar spreads misinformation about Kelly Thomas' character for promotional reasons," the Facebook page read--but it no longer exists, taken down by someone. Here's the screen grab:

slidebarfacebook.png
From the since-deleted "Boycott Slidebar" Facebook page...


The Weekly's previous coverage of Thomas' death:



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
118 comments
Kattaustin
Kattaustin

Thats also considered a hate crime ! Along with conspiracy! Feds should look into this as well as IRS should do a complete audit of that creepy lookin rock guy owners business! Anyone that shady has stuff to hide.. Usually.. It would certainly be what i would push for if it were me or my family hurt by this. So, lawsuits to open their finances up would for sure be a start. Business returns and personal returns and hire an auditor to review once u get them.. Ull be amazed at what people find and how quick these ppl will settle to avoid the wrath of irs!!!

Kattaustin
Kattaustin

Sidebar most certainly does have culpability in this crime.. The legal reason is : "if but for sidebars action" would Kelly have been harassed and engaged by police? So, they certainly started this mess and they also lied about a felony being committed the continued to lie and threaten an employee for months afterwards criminal charges need to be brought up on all who conspired and reported falsely.

Budjeter
Budjeter

Why didnt the give a sandwich and a couple of buck and send him on his way. The end result would have been better for Thomas his family and the FPD>

Chrisz Quezadii
Chrisz Quezadii

to go out of your way to make this call because of a homeless man hanging around is pure cowardliness. They have as much hate for the homeless as cops do.

Chrisz Quezadii
Chrisz Quezadii

fuck that bar, the bands that play for them dont get paid shit, very selfish greedy bar over priced drinks, and They even call the cops because of a harmless mentally ill homelass man, Wow Such fukin cowards. This building should be demolished.

malasangre
malasangre

 glad to see everyone involved will have to explain themselves.  unless they take the fifth every answer in court or deposition is given under oath/affirmation. any discrepancy can be a federal charge. it took a lot of noise but it ended the VietNam mess, it can work  for this.  to hope it dies down is their best case scenario.

Jodh2o
Jodh2o

I'm going to start patronizing the Slidebar. And how is the extremely biased FFF blog the "go to guide"? It's the "go to guide" for the Thomas side, not some location for an objective take on anything.

Neverforever55
Neverforever55

"That call—whoever placed it—led to the death of Thomas: no one disputes this." Really now, Gustavo. That's a sloppy statement from a smart guy. You don't get a free pass for that. Don't be a jackass.

Anti Slide Bar
Anti Slide Bar

They should re-start the anti-slide bar facebook page.  Im sure most of fullerton would become fans..  A lot of the 909 and 951 might get upset..

Gravy
Gravy

You guys wants facts?Confirmed employee facts?

Slidebar and Popoff are part of the investigation already. All 3 investigative agencies involved have spoken to him and his lawyer.

That is why you haven't heard so much as a peep out of the fine establishment, its management, owner, employees or lawyers.

Quote me, write it down and put that fact in your back pocket. It's all coming to a head. :)

jim
jim

well I was planning on going on the 10th but not now

PrisonReformMvt
PrisonReformMvt

Thanks OC Weekly for publishing what many of us have known all along...the call did originate from the SlideBar-whether it was Popoff or one of his managers... a false report is a false report and this incident DOES factor into this case. Regardless of what others here are saying...this is very important. What is also important is that when this call was received, the dispatcher could have seen via the live camera at the bus depot what was going on....totally reeks of corruption, lies and murder...and those who say nothing are just as culpable as those who beat Kelly Thomas to death....HOLD THEM ALL ACCOUNTABLE & RESPONSIBLE!!!!

Jax26
Jax26

So if I report a person that is harassing or scaring people, a person that is making me fear for my safety and then the police kill this guy it's my fault?

The Slidebar did what businesses do EVERY DAY, called the police and reported an individual that made them or their customers fear for their safety. What the police did has nothing to do with that report, that was THEIR decision, THEIR response, not the business'. 

If Popoff didn't own this place then it probably doesn't even make it into the a blog. What would you do if Walmart called the police? Blame Walmart for the death? 

Why not blame the shelter for not keeping him there? Or blame his parents for not committing him? Or Hell blame him for being sick? 

All of those make as little sense as blaming the Slidebar does. 

NOTHING changes the fact that the FPD acted with unnecessary brutality which resulted in his death. THAT is where the blame lies. Nowhere else. 

MichaelG
MichaelG

I just read all 57 comments, as well as this article. I have one conclusion...Lit was a terrible band.

cook
cook

This business is just the newest member of the "Lynch Mob" mentality.

tb
tb

Wow, being the person who made the call that that lead to this senseless tragedy has got to be a heavy load to bear.  Not only for the cost to the individual killed & his family, but to the police involved & their families too.  A lot of tragedy to go around.

It's useful to remember the wisdom that:

"There, but by the grace of God, go I."

Maybe we can use this tough lesson - to become better, kinder, & more compassionate people?

Boboorozco
Boboorozco

"who placed the call" isn't particularly newsworthy....it's about as newsworthy as the style of shoes Kelly was wearing.  But by attempting to find the source of the original phonecall, The Weekly is implying it IS newsworthy, and people will (unfortunately and inevitably)  infer that the original caller shares some responsibility in Kelly's death.  That's just human nature.  This style of reporting only "stirs the pot"...it's agitprop.   If there's nothing newsworthy to report, then report nothing.

Joe
Joe

Jeremy Popoff, owner of the Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen: I am sure you treating your animal very well. What would you feel if your son is Thomas Kelly?

Joe
Joe

Fullerton cops and city officials are responsible for the murders and lying to their teeth. Then cover up, stonewall process, etc.In the name of "Protect and Serves", cops generate revenue for city and county by serving eviction people from their homes for banks, giving traffic tickets, citations, and anything for profits.Another discovery, cops are normally working closely with politicans and unions for businesses and people with influential, money, or power with corruption cultures.Fullerton got exactly what it voted for.

Chris
Chris

Jeremy Popoff is in serious trouble.  The FBI is going to get a search warrant for the phone records from the Slide Bar very soon.  If they haven't already.

We know that the Slide Bar is a cop hangout.  For all we know, Jay Cicinelli might have even been a regular there.  Everyone has always suspected that a local business must have been "coached" into making a fake call to the police claiming a more serious crime, so they would have an excuse to go there and "remove" Kelly Thomas.  Since a homeless person loitering across the street wouldn't have been enough.  Jeremy Popoff talked with one of his cop buddies and asked how he could get rid of Kelly Thomas once and for all.  And they told him that he would have to call something more serious in.  So he made the fake call from a back office, claiming that "someone was trying to break into cars"...and of course he called the non-emergency dispatch number, so there would not be a 911 recording.  I'm sure he was told how to do this by the cops.

Again, the Slide Bar is known to be a hang out for cops.  So you can bet that Jeremy Popoff knew the officers who patrolled that area, and he knew darn well that at least some of them were capable of being violent.  It's possible he even knew Kenton Hampton and Jay Cicinelli personally.  Or at least he knew them or their friends as patrons at his bar.  So when he made the fake call about the car break-ins (which didn't exist), he knew something ugly was probably going to happen.  But he didn't care what happened to Kelly Thomas, so long as he was out of sight.  Jeremy Popoff didn't directly cause the murder of Kelly Thomas, but he definitely did indirectly contribute to it, by making a false police report even though he probably knew full well how corrupt the FPD was. 

He is also lying about how Kelly "intimidated" customers at the Slide Bar.  That is complete and utter BS.  And the proof of it comes from one of Jeremy's own employees.  I was contacted by someone who was in the Slide Bar recently, and he had asked a bar tender if "street people" were a major problem there.  The bar tender said NO for several reasons...one of which was because very little of their patio area is actually street-side.  Also, the bar is always very busy and loud, and a timid street person is extremely unlikely to even bother going inside.

By the way...a person can only sue for "libel" if the statements are FALSE.  So far, none of the statements people are saying about Jeremy Popoff are false.  And once we finally see the entire truth to this shocking story, you'll have proof of that.  Jeremy Popoff made a call to the Fullerton Police Department, claiming something that did not happen.  And the real reason is because he wanted Kelly Thomas "removed" by whatever means necessary.   

I think that when we finally get to the bottom of this, the real story is going to be even more shocking and disgusting than we can possibly imagine. 

Matt
Matt

People didn't boycott the Slidebar because of the comments up on FS right now...it was those redacted. Ask around, you'll know. 

Sean Ogle
Sean Ogle

A right to commit a crime... interesting. 

Sean Ogle
Sean Ogle

None are so blind as will not see. Protecting a business does not justify criminal behavior.

Soho_d J
Soho_d J

Ok maybe this pub made a call and falsely reported a crime to remove him, in a way that is their right. And if it turns out they lied they'll have to deal w their conscience for years to come. However don't let it get you all fired up. Stay focused on the crime to K. T. That's what the protests & coverage is all about.  O.C. Weekly has been at the forefront keeping this story alive so cut em some slack here. Whatever Slidebar is so be it, lets just keep our heads in the right place. Too many detractors would like to see a mob mentality take over, lets' not give em that. You can always drink elsewhere.

Sean Ogle
Sean Ogle

To file a false police report is a crime. The Slidebar did file such a report. California law states that persons committing illegal acts which result in someone's death are MURDERERS.  

FTWN LOCAL
FTWN LOCAL

Wow, not surprised how many douchebags "rise up" in Slidebar's defense. I've heard the same rumors about the phone call. Nobody is accusing Slidebar of Murder here, but if the phone call wouldn't have been placed then maybe the homeless man would still be alive! Who calls the poice on homeless people? I've seen brawls, rumbles, and drunk peope kicked out of that place 1000's of times... with all that security.... why couldn't Slidebar ask the homeless cat to leave. Mind Boggling how a place like that can survive for so many years on the shoulders of two lame ass hit singles in the mid-nineties. Boycott Lit as well!

Guest
Guest

Be mindful of the new Police State that is emerging. Slowly ever so slowly you civil rights are being eroded away.

Seven months ago the LBPD shot and killed an unarmed man and still no word on the finding of the investigation.

http://articles.latimes.com/20...

Jeff Gallagher
Jeff Gallagher

I'm surprised tje cops aren't hunting down the caller to charge them with making a false report in an effort to deflect some of the heat off them. In any case, whoever made the call had almost no effect on the outcome. It would have just been a matter of time with the FPD.

Patdodd
Patdodd

If there is some typeof agreement between FPD and Slidebar to get police expiditted, then there is something to talk about. First of all, the police would be there under false pretentions and knowingly making a flase accusation to get the police to hurry up. Look if I called the police on someone and said I was in trouble (and I wasn't) waouldn't that be ILLEGAL? So WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

FullertonGirly
FullertonGirly

I had already stopped going to Slidebar (food has gone downhill, and the crowd is so sleazy), but this gives me even more reason not to patronize them.

Bozack50
Bozack50

What an idiot...how do you make somebody responsible via their phone call? A phone call  is from a concerned citizen...it is NOT a police report. This was not some gang member, nor common citizen that did this, it was the police you idiot. They are solely responsible for their actions and the murder. So if Joe Average was walking through the parking lot, called the cops and reported a guy who appeared homeless, but scared/intimidated him for whatever reason, then the cops show up and kill the homeless guy, is it the other person's fault? You guys are idiots. I've seen Kelly up by my house in Yorba Linda, living under a small bridge by my street. My kids said that he was asking them if they had money, then asked them if he they had drugs. My kids are 9 and 12 walking home from school and get this. So if I had called the cops instead and they beat the life outta him, then it would be my fault? You sir, are an idiot. Ignorance runs rampant with not only the journalists of the OC Weekly, but now very obviously with the derelics and slackers who are fool enough to be led into belieiving their lame duck reporting

totoro
totoro

you're missing the point. it's not about a business calling the police to report a homeless person or as you put it, someone who's harassing and scaring people removed. it's about a business who called the police and falsely stated someone was breaking into cars to have that person removed. if they were honest with the police and said that there was a homeless man in front of my bar begging for money and it's becoming bad for business it would have been different, but they lied. it didn't have to happen, that's what makes it so sad.

Justice not Vengeance
Justice not Vengeance

Get your facts straight - NO ONE said that someone reported a homeless man. They reported a theft from a vehicle, and it's ALLEGED that it was from the Slidebar, and it's also ALLEGED that the REASON for the call was to get cops to show up, because they don't generally show up for a homeless guy. (Actually that last part is more than alleged, because it's known that the practice of calling in a false complaint will do the job of getting someone detained)

But bottom line is that whoever called is not responsible for Kelly's death - those 6 cops are.If i send someone to a restaurant to pick up lunch, and i get poisoned, i can't blame the person i sent. I blame the restaurant. Why are people having such a hard time grasping the reality of the responsibility here.

That call was illegally made, but if those cops were SANE, then it only would have resulted in Kelly being led away from the scene, or arrested for being a nuisance or something.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Do you work with Slidebar? Then how do you know they made the call that led to police confronting Thomas?

Joe Blow
Joe Blow

You had to read the comments to figure that out? Ha!

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

And that's why you're an anonymous commentator, and we're reporters.

Gnzjunior
Gnzjunior

Impressive detective work. UNREAL. 

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

That's what our sources say, Sean, but let's wait until Slidebar and/or Popoff comment before castigating them beyond their hosting John & Ken insanities (although JohnKen have been on the right side of the Thomas murder)

molting
molting

oh come on. see gus? brandon? for every racist right wing freakshow you lure in and ridicule by being "provocative" you get just as many of these wide eyed dipshits who buy 100% into the implication that phone call = murder.

Bozack50
Bozack50

Did they file a report, or simply call the PD indicating there may be somebody breaking into cars. Are you certain somebody didn't walk into the bar and let their security know that somebody looked like he was breaking into cars? I don't agree with what was done, but now you're messing with people's livelihoods because of foolish opinion and the action of a few rogue cops. Crying shame the ignorance purported on this blog

In the know
In the know

sidebar is a dump where drugs are sold and swine like to hane out..

Chris
Chris

To the few people who are saying that the caller isn't responsible for the police murdering Kelly Thomas...YES they are.  The Slide Bar is so deeply entangled with the FPD, with police "coaching" them with how to make a fake call in order to give them an excuse to go there and have someone "removed," certain FPD officers are in effect hired guns for the Slide Bar.

You have a business that is a local hangout for cops.  There is inside information that the owner of the business (Jeremy Popoff) called the police non-emergency number with a completely fabricated story of seeing someone breaking into cars.  He was coached into doing this by FPD officers, some of which are undoubtedly regular patrons at the bar.  Uncovering the person who made the fake call is extremely crucial, because everything shows that Kelly Thomas's death was orchestrated from the very beginning.  Sure, Jeremy Popoff may not have intended for Kelly to be killed.  But he called the police (on the non-emergency number, interestingly) with a completely MADE UP and SCRIPTED story.

By the way, this is NOT the first time that a disturbing connection has been shown between the Slide Bar and the FPD.  I read a letter from someone who was arrested at the Slide Bar after a fight, which he did not start.  He said that the incident happened after he stepped outside of the bar to smoke.  He was jumped by a group who he thought were gang members.  Very quickly (a little too quickly), several Fullerton Police officers suddenly showed up.  He was assaulted while being arrested, and several of his fingers were broken. 

It seems very likely that those "gang members" were actually off-duty FPD cops.  And they called their friends who were on duty at the time. 

An anonymous informant had called a radio station (KFI 640), saying that Jay Cicinelli actually bragged about beating up Kelly Thomas.  There is other inside information that some of his "bragging" might have also been through text messages on his cell phone.  I wonder if this was true...who was he texting? 

In my darkest suspicious, I think maybe he was texting his buddy at the Slide Bar...bragging about how he had "worked up" Kelly Thomas.  Who knows, maybe his friend at the Slide Bar laughed about it too...until he realized just how serious it was and that Kelly Thomas had actually died.

      

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Talk about projecting! We're not blaming Slidebar for anything, no matter how much you and others insist or try to play the ad hominem game against us. Fullerton PD has stated that whoever called on Thomas said someone was breaking into cars; our sources say someone at Slidebar called the police because Thomas was intimidating customers—and they have every right to do that. However, if whoever made the call lied to the PD about why they were calling, then that's illegal. If the Fullerton PD is lying about what the call said, that's unethical. It's a key, crucial question—but, of course, simple logic like that can't penetrate your "Hispanic" ass...

Dave
Dave

To be honest Ive never seen a reporter act so unprofessional. If you dont agree with somebody, there is no need to insult. If somebody insults you, there is no need to lower yourself to thier level.

Boboorozco
Boboorozco

then you should be a "reporter" for the National Enquirer "reporting" on alien abductions.  That would be your level.

909Jeff
909Jeff

HAHAHAHA....AHAHAHAHA!!! REPOR...HAHAHAHAHA REPORTER!!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!  YOU CALLED YOURSELF A REPORTER!!!!!!   

But no seriously HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Molting: If we could control our readers' minds, then Javier's wouldn't be called the best Mexican restaurant in the county—think about it!

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Fashion

General

Loading...