Went to a Crime Scene and a Lap Dance Broke Out: 10 Examples of OC Strip Club Mayhem
Daniel Vidal Santana pleaded guilty Monday to kidnapping, assault producing great bodily injury, two counts of sexual assault and auto theft for an early morning crime wave that included beating up a stripper he met at an Anaheim Club.
As the Stanton resident awaits an Oct. 26 Superior Court sentencing hearing--where, under a court deal, Judge Steven Bromberg will likely send the 26-year-old to prison for nearly 22 years and order him to register as a sex offender--feast your eyes on these 10 examples of Orange County strip club mayhem.
On Jan. 27, 2003, Andrea Nelson was brought into Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, unconscious, not breathing and cold to the touch. Just a few days earlier, Nelson's name had turned up as an informant in a Tustin Police Department investigation of Officer Anthony Bryant, who was suspected of having unsavory ties to Mr. J's, a since-closed Santa Ana topless bar. The case involved Bryant and two other officers from Buena Park who were friends with Sammy Johar, whose family owned Mr. J's. Johar, a former Tustin police explorer, provided his friends in uniform with off-duty jobs and sexual favors from Mr. J's dancers, and Nelson had agreed to spill the beans to investigators after breaking up with Johar. Bryant and the other officers were fired, but after Nelson's death our Nick Schou could never locate them nor Johar, who disappeared after jumping bail on a drug charge. (See "Requiem for a Dreamgirl" and "Last Dance")
Early one morning in December 2004, on-duty Irvine Police Officer David Alex Park disabled his unit's GPS, followed a dancer home from Captain Cream Cabaret in Lake Forest, pulled her over in Laguna Beach, whipped out his mini-nightstick, jerked off and splooged all over the sweater covering the poor lass' breastices. The married cop was later arrested thanks to his DNA being all over the garment. But a jury incredibly found the married Park not guilty of three felonies, agreeing with defense attorney Allan Stokke that the woman wanted it. As our R. Scott Moxley observed after examining the evidence and attending the trial, "How are you ever going to get a conviction against cops in OC for anything?" (See "Illegally Park-ed")
Carlos Rosario Gonzales got 50, will likely do less.
A bouncer was shot and killed in October 2006 at California Girls Gentlemen's Club, a then-topless bar on Harbor Boulevard in Santa Ana. An argument over the unauthorized touching of a dancer preceded the shooting, which resulted in Carlos Rosario Gonzales of San Jacinto being convicted of first-degree murder. But Gonzales' original 50 years to life in prison sentence is expected to be reduced substantially, as Moxley reported in March. Meanwhile, that California Girls location has since gone full-nude, although touching is presumably still verboten. (See "Carlos Rosario Gonzales Murders over OC Club's No-Fondling-the-Strippers Rule")
Two men were standing in the parking lot of another California Girls location--the still-topless club on South Brookhurst Street near Ball Road in Anaheim--when they were approached by four males one night in August 2009. At least one stranger whipped out a knife, as both men were stabbed and suffered non-life-threatening wounds.
The body of a homeless man was found the afternoon of Jan. 6, 2010, in the bushes behind the Fritz That's Too topless club in Anaheim. Found face down in a sleeping bag near railroad tracks at about 12:15 p.m., it was believed the 27-year-old died in his sleep--and not after making a pro ballplayer coming out of the club.
A dancer at Flamingo Showgirls in Anaheim had performed a lap dance for a friend of Daniel Vidal Santana's shortly after midnight on Nov. 11, 2010, when he suggested a later rendezvous at a nearby gas station. The 34-year-old woman arrived to be escorted by Santana to an alley, where he beat her up. He then drove her to a second location, where he raped her. She managed to alert a Long Beach motel clerk she had been assaulted as Santana tried to check them in, prompting the attacker to take off in her car. Her keys and Santana's bloody shoes were still in his residence when he was arrested.
During an early morning Dec. 15, 2010, robbery of the Anaheim California Girls, which is two miles from Disneyland, an employee was shot. Two men walked into the back office around 2:30 a.m. As one intruder pointed a handgun, three employees were ordered to cough up money. The pair was leaving with a small amount of cash when, for reasons unknown, a male worker was shot in the stomach. He was later hospitalized at UCI Medical Center but recovered.
Local mobsters Joseph Angelo Grosso and Michael Anthony Rizzitello forced Bill Carroll, one of the investors in Mustang Topless Theater in Santa Ana, to a Costa Mesa parking garage. The two men were angry because Carroll had barred them from the club for selling coke. They shot him through the face, blinding him, but he survived, and both men were convicted of attempted murder and sent to prison, where Rizzitello later died. (See "The Unsolved Murder of Joe Avila Is Only One of Many Loose Ends From OC's Coked-Out '80s")
The late Jimmy Casino
Courtesy of Orange County Sheriff's Department
On Jan. 1, 1987, 48-year-old Jimmy Lee Casino, the owner of the Mustang Topless Theater in Santa Ana, returned to his Buena Park home after attending a New Year's Eve party with his 22-year-old girlfriend. As the LA Times later reported, two "masked and armed intruders were waiting. The intruders tied up and raped his girlfriend and dragged Casino downstairs. They ransacked the condo, taking jewelry, furs, credit cards and two cars." Then they shot Casino three times in the head. It was a cold case for years. Richard Curtis Morris Jr., 59, of Pearl City, Hawaii, was convicted April 30, 2013, of being one of the killers. He faces life without parole. Investigators are still actively seeking the other baddie in the condo as well as whoever hired the hitmen. (See "Richard Curtis Morris Jr. Guilty of Hit on Strip Club Owner During 'Mickey Mouse Mafia' Days")
Mustang Topless Theater on Harbor Boulevard in Santa Ana is long gone. After surviving many arson attempts over the years, it mysteriously burned to the ground in 1988, a year after the owner's murder. Round up the usual Mickey Mouse Mafia suspects, chief!
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.