A Lesson in Why to Avoid Del Taco at 1:30 A.M.

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Does anything good ever happen at Del Taco at 1:30 in the morning?

A 20-year-old Newport Beach man obviously knows the answer to that after being threatened with death at gunpoint while eating on the Del Taco patio at 1720 Superior Ave., Costa Mesa, around that time Aug. 2, having his car followed to a nearby Denny's parking lot, and getting dragged out and beaten unconscious before having his wallet, cell phone and car keys stolen.

The fellow was gnawing away at his taco or burrito or whatever other shits-inducer he was gnawing on when he was surrounded by a gang of, well, gang bangers. They began flashing signs, tossing out rhetoric and doing other gang-y stuff.

One gangsta confronted the diner, pulled him 20 feet away from the patio, whipped a handgun out of his waistband and threatened to blow the poor sap's head off. Needless to say, it was about then the 20-year-old wished he'd instead found an all-night Arby's . . . next to a police station.

He was able to break free and run into the Del Taco, where he waited until he believed the bad guys had left. He then climbed into his car and drove off. However, at the confusing intersection of Superior and 17th Street, he realized his would-be attackers were following in a white Toyota 4runner. So, he pulled into the Denny's at 105 E. 17th St. After all, who goes to Denny's at 1:30 besides drunks, child molesters and drunk child molesters?

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"HELP!"
Turns out, at least when it comes to the Denny's parking lot, gang bangers go there, too. That's where they pulled up on our sad sack and physically dragged him out of his car. He was then punched, kicked and knocked out cold. That's when the baddies took his stuff, but they could not get his car started with the keys, so they all left in the 4runner.

Police arrived and put out a broadcast for the suspects and the 4runner. A vehicle matching that description was spotted in Newport Beach, and when officers made a stop, one guy got out and ran. Six others remained in the 4runner.

According to the Costa Mesa Police Department Gang Enforcement Unit, which investigated the mini-crime spree, the fellows in what turned out to be a 4runner stolen from Newport Beach belong to the Varrio El Modena gang in Orange. They have been allegedly coming to the Newport-Mesa area to commit crimes and further their gang rep. Perhaps they were hoping a Real Housewives camera might catch them.

Speaking of caught, that did not happen that particular early morning to the gang member who bolted. Police also suspect he had with him the handgun that has yet to be recovered. However, on Tuesday, the gang detail arrested who they believe to be that outstanding seventh suspect. All but one of them hail from Orange.

The only name police released was that of the only adult suspect, Juan Carlos Juarez, 18. Three 17-year-olds will be tried by the district attorney as adults, according to the gang unit. Also arrested was a 16-year-old from Santa Ana and a 15- and 14-year-old. Charges include carjacking, armed robbery, brandishing a firearm, conspiracy and criminal threats with sentencing enhancements for gang activity.

Our Del Taco diner? He was released from a local hospital after being treated for moderate head and facial injuries. Hopefully he did not lose the memory of where he won't ever want to be again at 1:30 in the morning.     


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17 comments
Crystalsan13
Crystalsan13

hahaha shut up everyone! they make it seem worser than what it really was. haha the stupid man that got beat up told lies! he asked for trouble! i should know because 2 of the guys that got arrested are my cousins! one of them was inoccent! stupid police. by the way everyone has gangs in their cities so dont be saying nothing about santa trash going to newport. And just to let you know, they were all from orange city haha fuck you alll!!!

Jblindreaper
Jblindreaper

hahaha thats funny bc juan juarez didnt do anything i should knw bc he is my husband nd he wud of done alot more damage to the 20yr old plus he has a daughter really young of age so he wudnt do that he was just charged with those crimes bc he happened to be in the car smoking a ciggaerrtee

Johnhashomes
Johnhashomes

The tone of the article is a bit to flippant. Calling the victim sad sack? Really professional.

peaceloveunderstanding
peaceloveunderstanding

this is not a funny story no matter how many bad jokes and puns you pack into it.

TaylorHamby
TaylorHamby

The caption on that Dan photo is priceless.

Pgibbons
Pgibbons

This is why we need to demand the issue of concealed carry weapon (CCW) permits to the law abiding citizens of OC. Sandra Hutchens does not have a large enough mental capacity to accept and understand the importance of this, and as such does not issue them. I tried to vote in Bill Hunt for Sheriff as he was one that would actually issue them but unfortunately he lost to the Hutchens (the incumbent).

CCW permits do not raise crime and actually lowers it as a deterrent. If these gang bangers knew there was a good likelihood of their victim packing heat, they may think twice. If I get capped by a low life gang banger, I will be livid in the afterlife. We need CCW.

Sam
Sam

Great, Santa Ana trash is almost in Newport.

Gericault
Gericault

Hey, Like Jim Righeimer said"Nobody is gonna die", when he cut our police force down to levels not seen since the 1980's. This guy just got robbed and pistol whipped unconcious, nothing here to see people, move along.Sad wimpy gang, that preys on Costa Mesa because we reduced our police force.......you want to show how tough you are?.......Try Newport or Huntington.....those black booted cops will show you a thing or two. Leave Costa Mesa alone.......we have enough problems just with our own elected officials.

Carrion Fairy
Carrion Fairy

The only reason to not eat Del Taco at 1am is to attempt to make the hangover black that is already on its way in a few hours from bar hopping any worse. Plus, I'm sure the victim was also gang-affiliated as that's normally how it works.

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

Here's a free tip: If you're accosted by gang members at one place, and then think they're following you, don't pull over into another parking lot that's about 30 yards away from where you  had just got your ass kicked. Gang members are dumb, but they aren't THAT dumb. 

Or...I don't know...perhaps call the cops after you got a freakin' gun pulled on you at the first location. Either way works, kid. 

That Del Taco is pretty crazy, though. I've honestly seen more street fights there than anywhere else around here. I don't know if they still have a 24 hour dining room, but back when I didn't know better, and would go to the bars around there on weekend nights, it'd be packed from 2am and on. And people would be drunk and ready to brawl. I once saw a fight that lasted about 15 minutes, between groups of 3 dudes, one of which had the awesome insight to empty out two napkin dispensers and use them as makeshift boxing gloves. I hate that Del Taco.

supascoob
supascoob

I agree 100%. We need our CCW's back.

Carrion Fairy
Carrion Fairy

The only trash is in Newport. Have you never been to Sharkeez?

peaceloveunderstanding
peaceloveunderstanding

Here's a free tip: if you want to look like an ass, berate someone who was just put through a harrowing experience by being a "should have done it this way" know it all. Cheers.

Jdizzy
Jdizzy

Do you think it's possible that the trash you are referring to comes from somewhere other than Newport? Not too many Newport locals hanging out at Sharkeez.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Yeah, don't bother with Sam. He thinks Javier's is good Mexican...

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

You're playing fast and loose with the definition of "berate". 

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