That bitter merchants’ feud in the 3400 block of West Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank, once thought to be dying down, has escalated with more nasty allegations, a police report, and a mystery videotape. I began covering the dispute back in August of 2014, when it centered on the fight for one-hour parking on the north side of the block. Most of the complaints were directed at Romancing the Bean, 3413 West Magnolia Boulevard. During that battle, allegations of harassment and bullying were leveled against the Bean’s owner, Kerry Krull, as well.
Some merchants feel Krull’s busy cafe is the source of most of the parking problems because it was allowed to open without fulfilling the usual requirement for adequate parking. One of those merchants is Ralph Persinger, co-owner with his wife Kim, of Burbank Antiques at 3423 West Magnolia Boulevard.
Persinger has been outspoken about his views; sending letters to City Hall, Media City Groove, and even writing a guest column for this website. New one-hour parking restriction signs became permanent fixtures on that section of Magnolia Boulevard last December. That battle is over, but the feud has continued to smolder on the block. A couple of weeks ago, an incident fired-up the feud to red-hot and got tongues wagging all over B-town. (warning graphic details to follow)
Back on the morning of August 21, 2015, Ralph Persinger says Burbank Police Officer, Ashley Johnson, walked into Burbank Antiques and made a startling declaration: “I remember her coming into my store and saying she just saw me on a security video at R.T.B. coming out of the bathroom and that I defecated in the restaurant bathroom waste basket !” Persinger, who explained what happened in emails, reportedly told the officer he had never been in the Bean.
Persinger says the officer told him “if I would apologize, and tell her I wouldn’t do it again, they would not press charges against me.” Persinger asked the officer about a DNA sample: “That’s when she dropped a bombshell on the whole situation. Officer Johnson said to me, and my wife Kim, in front of Best of Times that the so-called incident occurred 5 days earlier and, [ No evidence was preserved]. ”
And there’s more. Persinger says:”Later that morning Mike Nolan called Sgt. Kendrick (BPD) . He showed up at the store at about 5:00 P.M. and said that Officer Johnson was a rookie and mishandled the initial investigation with an ongoing known dispute! Sgt. Kendrick also said he would get to the bottom of the incident. He called the station and got me the police report I.D .”
And then another development after Persinger’s lawyer got involved; “They told him the charges were dismissed. Kerry told the police she thought it was me until I stated that I’ve never stepped foot inside her restaurant!”
Persinger wants copies of the police report and the video. On the day that Officer Johnson interviewed Persinger he says ,” Officer Johnson told me I would have to wait 2 or three business days for processing. Then, I could come to the Police Station and get a copy of the report & tape.” It’s been three weeks and Persinger has not been able to get a copy of the police report nor a copy of the video from the Burbank PD. He was told to fill out a public records request for the materials and he did. And you guessed it, he later received a letter rejecting that request.
Persinger is not giving up. He feels he has been victimized by the incident. He wants to clear his name and reputation: “Everybody on both sides of my store (and) street knows about this incident by word of mouth! All the way down to the Blue Pig, Captain Vintage & The Bearded Lady !!! “
There are many questions about the incident that have been left hanging in the air and producing fodder for the rumor mill. Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse has given a lot of lip-service to transparency. Here’s an opportunity to do more than just talk. As we’ve heard many times, actions speak much louder than words. The Burbank Police need to release the police report and alleged incriminating videotape.