Brawl at Temecula Winery Results in 5 Arrests, Injured Deputy

Four of five arrested in the alleged assault Saturday at Bel Vino Winery in Temecula Wine Country were family members, a sheriff's official said.

Five people were arrested and a deputy was injured when a brawl broke out Saturday at a Temecula-area winery, authorities said.

Deputies responded at about 2:44 p.m. Saturday to Bel Vino Winery, 33515 Rancho California Road, in Temecula Wine Country when a "large-scale disturbance...involving approximately 100 people," was reported, according to Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Steve Fredericks.

"Due to the potential size of the incident, additional officers from the Temecula Police Department and a Riverside Sheriff's helicopter responded to assist," Fredericks said Monday in a news release.

"Deputies arrived within minutes and immediately observed a large, unruly crowd of winery patrons, some suffering from obvious injuries, gathered in the parking lot and driveway in front of the business," Fredericks said.

It took numerous deputies and officers plus the sheriff's helicopter crew, which landed to assist, to disperse "a large crowd of intoxicated patrons" and provide security while the initial report of assault was investigated, Fredericks said. 

Most of the customers at the winery had arrived in tour buses, the sergeant said, and were allowed to leave in the buses once it was confirmed the drivers were not under the influence of alcohol.

Witnesses pointed deputies to two women—Alexis Montufar, 21, of Lakewood, and her sister, Crystal Montufar, 26, of San Diego—who were allegedly involved in the initial assault disturbance, according to the sergeant.

"When deputies tried to contact the suspects, the two women attempted to escape and were assisted by family members and winery patrons who physically obstructed and then assaulted the deputies," Fredericks said.

The family members and a friend who allegedly obstructed and assaulted the deputies were identified as Carlos Montufar, 45, and Narra Montufar, 42, both of San Diego, and William Andrews, 28, of England, who was at the winery as a guest of the family, Fredericks said.

Narra Montufar was arrested on suspicion of felony battery on a peace officer and public intoxication; William Andrews was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a peace officer and public intoxication; Alexis and Crystal Montufar were both arrested for alleged battery and public intoxication; and Carlos Montufar was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a peace officer and public intoxication, according to Fredericks.

All were booked at Southwest Detention Center near Murrieta. 

One deputy who was moderately injured during the incident was treated at a local hospital and released later that day, Fredericks said.

Anyone with additional information regarding the incident was encouraged to contact Deputy Rhodes at the Southwest Sheriff's Station by calling 951-696-3000.

Gandhi February 15, 2013 at 12:14 AM
So where are ALL these great wineries I'm hearin about who do NOT serve intoxicated people??? I wanna know! Its ok to mention your wineries name here, they will be grateful you are a good PR person for them! Personally, I dont go to SCW, that IS a known tourist winery!
Heather Melone February 16, 2013 at 03:28 AM
Heather - My name is Heather Melone and I am the criminal defense attorney that has been retained by one of the Montufar family members. I would be very interested in speaking with you about your observations that day. Would you please contact my office at (619) 398-2520? I would greatly appreciate it...
0000000 February 16, 2013 at 06:34 AM
Sonny, the felony charge was dropped - reduced to a misdemeanor (resisting arrest). You shouldn't always believe what you read. Many aspects of the police report are incorrect . I firmly believe the officers in question over stepped their authority in this instance. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Both parties (not just the Montufar family) involved in this indecent will speak and be given a fair trial.
0000000 February 16, 2013 at 06:41 AM
You said it - FOUR women. There are two sides to every story.
0000000 February 16, 2013 at 06:46 AM
90 of which were onlookers. Come on people - do you really believe everything you read?!
0000000 February 16, 2013 at 06:49 AM
Steve, don't be so ignorant. Only convictions can be used by the INS to get someone deported.
0000000 February 16, 2013 at 06:54 AM
What makes you think everyone in this party was rude, intoxicated or uninterested in wine quality? Unfair comment.
Brenda February 16, 2013 at 08:03 PM
"Witnesses pointed deputies to two women—Alexis Montufar, 21, of Lakewood, and her sister, Crystal Montufar, 26, of San Diego—who were allegedly involved in the initial assault disturbance, according to the sergeant. "When deputies tried to contact the suspects, the two women attempted to escape and were assisted by family members and winery patrons who physically obstructed and then assaulted the deputies," Fredericks said." Gonna be hard to defend these people with this police report from witness's that observed this altercation and then attempt to get the women out of there. Charge ALOT!!! and plead down to a lesser charge, LOL.
Brenda February 16, 2013 at 08:09 PM
ooooooooo, We read the article, go by the police statements and then if people who saw it happen come and post we read that information too. ITs not finding anyone guilty, because of course they are innocent until proven so, its reading the stories as they evolve and the possiblities of who, what, where. Now if you are a jury you only take the evidence as it is presented to you at trial to determine guilt or innocence, not an article or "witness statements made here in comments". Or parts that are laughable, like a bunch of women getting into a fight at a winerie? Immature, laughable story and then add 100 more people to the tussle and its things that just do not happen in Temecula, LOL.
Mark Cochard February 18, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Linda, It's Chaddsford winery outside of Philadelphia. This news story was sent to me in a daily email wine news update from Wine Business Monthly (it is still up as one of the most visited post of the last 30 days). Temecula wineries have been known for years for the bus/limo and drunken patron problems. This practice demeans the folks (if there are any) who are trying to provide the proper environment for the enjoyment of thier wines. 10 years ago on a visit to 3 wineries I was told I was not permitted to spit (or we don't do that here). I spit anyway but they gave me small cups so I would not spit into the dump bucket). This created a bit of a PR firestorm whe I posted the wineries employees commnents on the wine bulletin boards. There was a promise from the Temecula Valley Grape Growers Association to address these issues. I guess nothing has changed has it?
Gandhi February 19, 2013 at 04:42 AM
Oh darn, thats a little far for me!! ;) I didnt know you could grow grapes or even had wineries in Pennsylvania!! How do they do through all the snow? I thought grapes were Mediterranean fruits and couldnt survive frost? Yes, I agree, the wineries need to start looking at their overall image in the community instead of just the "bottom line" dollar. I dont know anything about the "spitting" thing myself, I'm just a drinker, not a spitter ;) Best of luck on your winery in Philadelphia though, and let me know how that works if you dont mind, I'm just very curious.
Mark Cochard February 19, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Linda, There are 150 wineries in PA. Our climate is more like northern Europe, think Burgundy, Northern Italy, Northern Spoain and Northern Germany. We have varaible vintages where weather can play havoc in the vineyard but we also get warm summers as well. 2009 wet, cold most of growing season only, 4 days over 90 degrees, while in 2010 hot and warm, little rainfall wiith 60 days over 90 degrees. Snow has no effect, vines are dormant in the winter.
Lisa Kaplan February 20, 2013 at 09:26 PM
Diane, My name is Lisa Kaplan and I am the CEO of Bel Vino. The incident was blown way out of proportion. The incident did occur, when the 4 women began to dispute and assault each other in a bathroom. Once this came to our attention. We separated the women and had our situation under control. There was in NO WAY 100 people involved. The accused were arrested when they assaulted the police officer and resisted arrest. We had 5 people involved in the "brawl that never was" I invite anyone to stop by and visit Bel Vino Winery. We pride ourselves on our outstanding wines and customer service. We take very seriously the guest needs and safety. We also take very seriously the wine consumption of all our guests. In this case the women involved had only just arrived in a limo from another winery. I have viewed the security tapes and felt my staff did an exemplary job. Lisa Kaplan CEO Bel Vino Winery 33515 Rancho California Road Temecula, CA 92591 (951) 676-6414 http://www.belvinowinery.com
Brenda February 20, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Lisa, I have to commend you for taking the time to explain what exactly happened. Your cameras have the best views including who and how many were involved. Sometimes when people give their story to a news person it gets blown out of proportion, and even the news person doesnt know what is true or not. When someone like you comments differently, the readers, and editors get a bit better idea of what happened and can change their opinions or posts too. I am not much of a drinker(cept a 4 or 5 times a year glass of wine) and have had too many friends and family members killed by them to be favorable to any drinking unless there is a 100% for sure DD and also that people know their limit and do not get out of control like these women did. These women or men who act like this in a business, with other customers, and not show a bit of class even in our little country Temecula Wineries are a good example of my negativity towards drinking. These Wineries are meant to be nice relaxing, sitting around with old and new friends, enjoying the atmosphere and outdoors if its a nice day, not a old swinging door bar to drink till you passout, with brawls going on. LOL Have a safe and Great Summer Season
T 22 February 20, 2013 at 10:39 PM
Ms Kaplan, I'm sorry that this story has blown up and may have a negative impact on your business. I'll tell you this true story. During the Preliminary Hearing of the murder of my son. A Patch reporter was there to report on the case. He stayed long enough to get the most sensational part of the case and only reported on that. The truth is that there was so much more to the story.
Kristena Clark February 26, 2013 at 07:11 AM
I'm from Chicago - and was on a Jeep Wine Tour last year. Out of all the wineries we had visited - my favorite was Bel Vino. The staff there was actually the friendliest out of the variety we had visited. The wine was delicious. The atmosphere was fun. Why would you blame a winery for unruly patrons? It's not as if they encourage it nor do they want that kind of publicity. I, for one, like Bel Vino and will return there - despite a couple of sour grapes.
Gandhi February 27, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Well thats fine Kristena, we're glad to hear you like Bel Vino Winery! I dont think anybody said anything AGAINST the winery here, not that I noticed. We have, however, pointed out that they ARE LEGALLY LIABLE for serving individuals who are obviously inebriated. That statement goes for ALL the wineries, not just Bel Vino! Hopefully they will be monitoring drunks in the future, if and when, you do decide to come back to California from Chicago!
Vince March 31, 2013 at 02:06 AM
Simple fix....don't give FREEBIES (wine "taste" "samples) to any more 2 Generations Outta The Trees Beaners....end of problem.
wolfcreek March 31, 2013 at 03:50 AM
For us Temeculites, we go during the week when the LA, Riverside, San Bernardino crowd is not there. I did not say the San Diego or Orange County crowd.
Gandhi March 31, 2013 at 07:38 AM
That was a really rude and totally uncalled for remark Vince, what nationality are you by the way? Rudeness knows NO nationality apparently.
Vince March 31, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Linda, actually I am African-American, if that matters?
Brenda April 01, 2013 at 08:11 PM
LOL I love ya Vince :)
Brenda April 01, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Vince, Anyone having spent alot of time in "South America, Mexico" and even in California with friends who are Mexican American know they can drink the best drinkers under the table. Its a joke amongst Hispanics that their babies are born with a bottle of Beer in their mouth. In Mexico its common to see the men standing around drinking their cerveza and then taking part in a siesta in chairs, on walls. A good majority are alcoholics and will freely admit to it. STand outside a liquor store in ohhh any good area and see about 2pm the flow start to go in and get their 12 packs :) Vince you are talking reality here, like me who have been there, seen it, others do not have a clue as to what goes on because they havent spent time with the same people they are proportedly defending, LOL
Gandhi April 01, 2013 at 11:17 PM
Yes, it does actually Vince, since you feel free to make very obvious prejudiced remarks against hispanics, how would YOU feel if we all started making stereotypical prejudiced remarks against blacks??? Hmmmmmm?! And Brenda, you are just as bad as Vince by condoning his ignorant behavior.
Brenda April 02, 2013 at 12:27 AM
I did not make any bad comment. If you spend time in and around the South American culture, have had SA Nannies, housekeepers (all legal I assure you) not just Mexico but from a few of the countries, you would know they have a favoritism to drinking, cooking and eating. Just as Germans do their beer, any resort City does, Wineries, even Vegas hun. Also growing up some of my best friends were long time Hispanic immigrants, citizens and I went to family parties, activities, funerals, weddings, and did my fair share of Hail Mary's for a lost friend :/ where most times the Priest was throwing them back. Putting up a church, a house, a medical building in SA is a celebration too and yet another reason to break the drinks out. They have found every single possible reason to party/drink, LOL. Learning to make the best of Hispanic food is something I am grateful for and so is everyone I know who loves to come and enjoy it if I am up to cooking a spread. Carne asada, shrimp cocktails ahhhhh joy, tamales, salsa's fresh, beans, chili rellenos! etc. etc. I think we need a huge community cookout and start an open reward fund within our City for helping to find suspects to crimes and also for tips leading to the arrest of anyone selling, making drugs!!!
Vince April 02, 2013 at 01:49 AM
Linda....you go girl, and if perchance you come up with a NEW ONE, I'll let ya know. Fact is, I do have some really spiffy one's whut you probably never heard before---can't share 'em here at this venue it appears though since the CENSOR'S will be all over them like stink on....well, you know.
Vince April 02, 2013 at 01:50 AM
And Brenda...we talkin' REAL love, or are ya maybe jes' a little smitten with Jungle Fever?????
Brenda April 03, 2013 at 01:33 AM
Rofl, you are hilarious Vince. Could be at my age right? 53 is suppose to be my prime? :) Its just nice to see some humor around here huney bear.
Vince April 03, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Brenda....near as I can figger, wimmins ain't worth messin' with 'till they reach thier 6th Decade (50's if you was ta wonderin')----and with any luck at all, they done been through menopause by then and are pert near....NORMAL. And odd thing is, I figgered THAT one out when I was but a young buck in my 20's---'Course that same age "older woman fixation" has now morphed into a "younger woman fixation", thanks to the ticking of the clock---Heck, at 53 you can prolly maybe not only still cut yer own steak, but you can chew it too!! Huh?
Vince April 03, 2013 at 01:51 AM
And Linda....jes so's you don't feel left out. Here are 3 of my all time favorites: Ragoona Boondangie Coconut Roller And ya got's my blessing to use them to your heart's desire.


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