LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office has secured a 90-day jail sentence against an off-duty City of Salinas police officer for allegedly brandishing a weapon during a New Year’s Eve celebration at a Hollywood restaurant.
“Firearm safety remains one of my top priorities,” said City Attorney Feuer. “As we approach New Year’s Eve where the brandishing and firing of guns in public increases, our message is clear, it’s against the law and we will prosecute.”
Joel Anaya, 38, was convicted on one count of brandishing a firearm following a three-week jury trial in November. Judge Michael Garcia today sentenced Anaya to 36 months of probation and 90 days in jail. Anaya is also prohibited from owing, using, or possessing a firearm for a 10 year period.
On the evening of January 1, 2013, Defendant Anaya, an off-duty police officer with the City of Salinas, was celebrating New Years in Hollywood with his girlfriend when he attempted to enter the Geisha House restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard after it was closed. After getting into a physical altercation with the staff, Anaya allegedly removed his firearm and threatened to shoot people. Anaya also allegedly pointed the gun in employees’ faces before LAPD officers arrived.
Anaya was later found in violation of multiple Salinas Police Department Policies and resigned from his position as a police officer. He was ordered by the court to sell or turn in all his firearms by November 26, 2014.
Deputy City Attorney Brad Rothenberg successfully prosecuted the case.
Feuer is the author of some of the City’s and State’s toughest gun laws. Since becoming City Attorney last year, Feuer has created a dedicated Gun Violence Prevention Unit in his Office which has worked closely with law enforcement to spearhead initiatives including focusing on the nexus between guns and domestic violence, clearing neighborhoods around schools of prohibited possessors and prosecuting parents for not safely storing their firearms. Feuer is co-founder and co-chair with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence.