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Night out almost turns deadly

Posted: August 25, 2008 5:01 p.m.
Updated: October 26, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
What looked like a normal night of drinks and music at The Londoner Pub in Canyon Country almost turned deadly after a patron threatened employees with a handgun.

Michael Zloczewski, 48, was arrested by sheriff's deputies late Saturday night after he brandished a gun at the local bar and threatened a bar employee, Lt. Brenda Cambra of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station told The Signal Monday.

"He was arguing over the $3 cover charge," said Lisa Plather, The Londoner's entertainment manager.
Plather and the bar's bouncer were standing near the bar's front entrance around 11:30 p.m. when Zloczewski allegedly got into an argument over the cover charge. The argument escalated and the suspect reportedly pushed the bouncer, Plather said.

Pushes between the suspect and the bouncer were traded and Plather said she slipped away to call the sheriff's station.

While Plather was on the phone, Zloczewski left the front entrance of the bar. He returned minutes later with a gun in hand, Plather said. Zloczewski reportedly pointed the gun at the bouncer.

"I thought he was going to shoot him and me both," Plather said. The bouncer and the alleged gunman exchanged words, but Plather said she couldn't hear what was said. She was still on the phone with sheriff's deputies.

Zloczewski didn't fire any shots and began walking away from the bar's entrance and toward Plather. "I was thinking, ‘Where is there to hide?'" as Zloczewski approached, she said. "He never looked directly at me."

The suspect reportedly fled on foot and was picked up by sheriff's deputies heading eastbound on Soledad Canyon Road near the intersection of Sierra Highway, Cambra said.

Zloczewski was later identified by the bouncer and charged with possession of an unregistered firearm, battery, brandishing a weapon in a threatening manner and carrying a concealed weapon.

The suspect may face further charges. Deputies are investigating whether he was the suspect wanted in the Aug. 21 robbery of the Shell Station at 18003 Soledad Canyon Road, Cambra said.

Zloczewski is being held in lieu of $35,000 bail. His next court date is at the Newhall Municipal Court Thursday.

"In my five years working at the bar I have never seen anything remotely like this," Plather said.

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