PINOLE -- The bar where a Richmond man died in a Sunday morning shooting has become the object of police scrutiny, with one neighbor saying that suspicious activity has been going on for years.
Police said 30-year-old Earl Hamilton was pronounced dead in the driveway of the Green Lantern Bar at 1907 San Pablo Ave. just after midnight Sunday. Hamilton had been shot several times.
Pinole police Chief John Hardester said on Wednesday that the department has been dispatched to the bar several times, enough that the department is looking into the police activity at the bar and will be discussing the matter with City Manager Belinda Espinosa.
"The day after the homicide, I started reviewing the statistics for that bar," Hardester said. "After I'm able to review that, I'll be working with (Espinosa) on what should be done. The main purpose is to see what we can do to clean up what's been happening over there."
Mike Perez, 76, who has lived near the bar since 1990, said that loud, obnoxious activity has been going on for years. Perez told this newspaper that he has called the police several times to report loud and violent activity and once turned in drug paraphernalia to the department.
"Ever since we've been here, there's been activity at that place," he said. "It's very, very loud, and it always seems to be the same crowd. ... I can tell you this: Ever since the shooting, my driveway is the cleanest its been, and it's suddenly very quiet at that bar."
A manager from the bar would not give his name or offer any comment on the allegations.
Another Pinole bar, the Coach's Sports Grill, lost its license to sell drinks and closed its doors two weeks after a 2008 shooting that killed 22-year-old Rodeo resident Victor Campbell and 21-year-old Richmond resident Steven "Willie" Mulder. In that case, representatives of the bar did not respond to repeated requests to communicate with public officials.
Hamilton's death was the first homicide in Pinole in 2014. Police have not named any suspects, and Hardester said the investigation is ongoing,
Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.