Police: 3 Arrested in Downtown Napa Brawl

A police officer was elbowed in the face, a patrol car was damaged and several people suffered minor injuries in a large street fight in front of Morimoto Napa restaurant early New Year's Day, according to Napa police.

Updated 3:45 p.m.: The brawlers were not Morimoto customers, according to restaurant management.

Napa city police and county sheriff's deputies joined forces when a New Year's Eve gathering got out of hand around 2:30 a.m. Jan. 1, according to an arrest summary from the City of Napa Police Department.

Several people suffered minor injuries in a brawl just across Main Street from the county jail, where three men were subsequently booked on charges including resisting arrest, resisting an executive officer by threat or violence, battery on a police officer, being drunk in public, possession of  a controlled substance and vandalism, according to the arrest summary:

An officer drove upon a large fight in front of Morimoto’s Restaurant. Napa Police Officers and Napa Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene to restore order. 

Two (2) people were arrested. One of the intoxicated arrestees, Steven Mcelheran (26 yrs. of Napa), resisted arrest by elbowing an officer  in the face and broke the mirror on his patrol vehicle. 

Luis Bernal (24 yrs. of Napa), was arrested for being intoxicated in public. A search of Bernal resulted in suspected cocaine being located in his pocket. 

Both were booked into Napa County Department of Corrections. 

A third person, Ryan Cravea (24 yrs. of Middletown) was arrested for intentionally knocking a cell phone out of the hands of the owner, which caused the phone to fall to the ground and break. Cravea was transported and booked into Napa County Department of Corrections.

The officer elbowed in the face did not require medical attention. 

Several people received minor injuries related to the fight.

The restaurant, owned by famed "Iron Chef" Masaharu Morimoto and located in the Riverfront development directly across Main Street from the rear of the county jail, had hosted a New Year's Eve celebration that ran into the wee hours, workers said.

But a restaurant manager told Napa Valley Patch that the brawlers were not Morimoto customers.

For the latest reports on crime and arrests in the Napa Valley, please see our Police & Fire section, available from the News tab above and at napavalley.patch.com/police-fire.

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Scott Yeager January 03, 2013 at 02:05 PM
How do you know they didn't drink at home and one of them lives close to downtown? They will trace this back but you assume a great deal.
Harold Edwards January 03, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Why get the cops involved,the chef could have broke up the fight,with his Ginsu Knifes!!
Louisa Hufstader January 03, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Restaurant management insist none of these people were customers of theirs and that sounds right to me: Morimoto was charging well over $100 a head for its NYE event, not including alcohol. I strongly suspect the alleged brawlers got their party on at a cheaper rate somewhere else and likely were heading for the parking garage when the disagreement began.
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau January 03, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Now the SF news is headlining it as a "brawl at Morimoto Napa". By tomorrow I expect to see "Iron Chef MMA Smackdown With Samurai Swords" in national headlines. Ahhh, gotta love the media.
Ash Leigh January 03, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Most establishments downtown were closed by 1:30 on NYE.


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