South Pasadena bar owner accused of violating COVID-19 lockdown order after opening pub on St. Patrick’s Day

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The owner of a bar in South Pasadena who angered some people when he opened the doors of his Irish pub early on St. Patrick’s Day in the face of the COVID-19 crisis and its State and local lockdown orders, has been charged with violating a county health ordinance put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Joseph Patrick Griffin, 57, of Lake View Terrace faces one felony count of violating an order from the Los Angeles County health official for the opening of his bar, Griffins of Kinsale, in the LA County Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

The doors of the pub, located at 1007 Mission Street, were open to St. Patrick’s Day revelers on the morning of March 17.

The county health order, which required residents to practice social distancing and close several businesses, including bars, went into effect the day before. The city of South Pasadena also closed all bars on March 16, along with other businesses, including dining and dining.

“On March 17, with the order requiring the closure of bars that did not serve food and other non-essential businesses, the bar would have opened its doors, served customers and offered shows,” prosecutors said in a statement.

Griffin told the Los Angeles Times when he opened his bar at 7 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day that he was unaware of the bar’s closing orders. He also told the newspaper that he was “humiliated in quarantine” in person and on social media.

“Having people calling me and my business online so violently – in some cases having people yelling at me and the employees at this bar – was amazing,” Griffin told the LA Times a few times. days after the incident.

Griffin was to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon. If convicted of the charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail or a fine of $ 1,000.

The case against Griffin is still under investigation by the South Pasadena Police Department.

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