Unpaid checks, pursuit lead to arrest
Man who failed to register as a sex offender is suspected of walking out on bills at restaurants.
By Kelly Strodl
A brief vehicle pursuit earlier this month led Costa Mesa police to an unregistered sex offender, authorities said Tuesday. The man in the pursuit allegedly neglected to pay his check at two eateries on March 4, police said.
According to police, at 1 p.m. a man left Wingnuts at 2340 Harbor Blvd. driving a 2001 Honda Pilot having allegedly not paid his bill. At 11:45 p.m. that day, employees at Denny's restaurant at 290 Bristol St. reported a similar scenario of a man leaving without paying the bill, but this time driving a large Dodge passenger van, police said.
Police who saw the van being driven away from the restaurant pursued the vehicle while calling in another unit to determine if a robbery had been committed, Sgt. Matt Grimmond said. After the officers at the Denny's radioed the ones following the van that the alleged crime concerned an unpaid bill, the pursuing officers took down the vehicle's license plate information and stopped the chase, Grimmond said.
"This was like a $10 grand slam from Denny's," Grimmond said of the unpaid check. "We terminated the pursuit just because pursuits are dangerous, and we'll catch him later. And we did."
Both vehicles were registered to Anthony Tabarsi, 41, of Costa Mesa, a convicted sex offender who it seems had failed to register in his new city of residence, police said. In 1998, Tabarsi pleaded guilty to oral copulation with a child under 14, rape and penetration with a foreign object. He served five years in state prison.
At 2:30 a.m. Monday, police received a call about a disturbance at the Q Club & Cafe, at 1525 Mesa Verde Drive. There police found an intoxicated man calling himself King Anthony and challenging everybody to a fight, Grimmond said.
The man was identified as Tabarsi and arrested on suspicion of public drunkenness and failure to register as a sexual offender, Grimmond said. The two alleged thefts are still under investigation, police said.