Cops called to kid-friendly venues more than strip clubs

Well, the kid’s birthday bash spots take the cake. They’ve each been home to more peace disturbances in the last three years than the club, according to statistics gathered from law enforcement agencies.


And oddly enough, so have Skateland, Fox Theater, Riley’s Tavern, Riverwalk and Rabobank Arena.

We asked for statistics to see how often police get called to various kid’s venues around town, as well as some other popular non-kid’s venues to compare. We also looked at how many annoyances were reported for each.

Among the family entertainment venues, Chuck E. Cheese received the most peace disturbances, with nearly 30 percent of the calls for service being for just that.

A peace disturbance can be anything from loitering or refusing to leave, to making too much noise, arguing, or domestic violence, police said.

John’s Incredible received the most calls for service, and had two fewer annoyance reports than its pizza counterpart.


Officials at Déjà Vu said their peace disturbance numbers are low, more than two times less than the family sites, partly because they do not serve alcohol.

But spokespeople for both pizza shacks and kid’s venues said alcohol is not a problem at their places.

John’s Incredible, which serves beer and wine, has a strict two drink per person rule, said Jim Finigan, director of operations.

“We’re a family entertained environment,” Finigan said. “If anyone under any circumstances shows any sign of causing trouble, I’ll kick the whole family out.”

Chuck E. Cheese’s spokeswoman Brenda Holloway defended her numbers saying they’re small, especially taking into account the hundreds of thousands of visitors in each of its 541 locations every year.

“When you do the math, it’s not that many,” she said.


About 65 percent of Chuck E. Cheese’s locations serve alcohol, minus pitchers, including the one here in Bakersfield.

Family issues are usually to blame for the annoyance calls at kid’s venues, said Bakersfield Police Sgt. Greg Terry.

Such was the case on July 11 last year at Chuck E. Cheese’s when a child custody issue between two parents took place. Police were called after both parents showed up and argued inside the business causing a peace disturbance, according to police.

Finigan and Holloway agree, and FInigan said custody and divorce disputes “happens more often … than one wants to admit.”

There hasn’t been any high profile crimes inside local kid’s venues recently, but outside is a different story. Parking lots have been the scene of violence in recent years.


The most recent incident took place in January 2007 when a Sheriff’s deputy fired nine shots at a man near Skateland during a traffic stop. No was hurt, but the owner of the rink was upset over the unwarranted negative publicity, since the shooting did not take place on Skateland property but nearby.

In August 2004, a 23-year-old Bakersfield man was shot in the chest in the parking lot at outside of Chuck E. Cheese.

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