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Covina bar that served drunk driver who killed Adenhart ordered shut down

November 5, 2010 |  2:44 pm



The Covina bar that served drinks to the man convicted of killing Angel pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others last year in a drunk driving crash in Fullerton will be shut down Dec. 2, authorities said Friday.

Covina City Council members were poised Tuesday to immediately revoke the business license and two conditional use permits for the Well but instead agreed to a request from an attorney representing the bar to have 30 days to close its doors, said Lt. Patrick Buchanan of the Covina Police Department.

Andrew Thomas Gallo, 23, drank heavily at the bar on April 9, 2009, before he drove a minivan through a red light and barreled into a car driven by 20-year-old Courtney Frances Stewart, killing her, Henry Pearson, 25, and Adenhart, 22.

A test conducted a several hours after the crash showed Gallo had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19%, more than twice the legal limit, officials said.

A video of Gallo and his stepbrother drinking at the bar and giving each other high-fives was shown to jurors during the trial. Gallo told investigators he drank to the point of blacking out and had no memory of even driving that night.

Gallo faces 50 years to life in prison when he is sentenced next month.

The bar, which features bikini-clad waitresses, was on the Covina Police Department’s radar before the incident, mostly for over-serving customers and fights. Between 2008 and 2010, officers responded to the bar more than 140 times, Buchanan said.

Police were investigating misconduct at the bar when they received reports of more improprieties, including “Texas Hold’Em poker tournaments, nudity, prostitution and chair massages from the bikini-clad waitresses,” Buchanan said.

In July, the department began conducting undercover operations in the bar and gathered enough evidence to charge owner Douglas Salviniski, 49, manager Angelo Capozi, 45, and six servers with multiple counts of operating or participating in an illegal gambling operation, Buchanan said.

In addition, he said the department is investigating a rape allegation against Salviniski. The case is still under investigation and has not been presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, Buchanan said.

Messages left for Salviniski and Capozi at the bar were not returned.

-- Stephen Ceasar

Photo: Scene of accident in  Anaheim. L.A. Times file.