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Carrillo charges reduced, may be dropped in San Diego fight



Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo will not face felony charges in connection with his arrest after a downtown San Diego street fight, police said Monday.

Efren Carrillo (PD FILE)

San Diego Police Detective Gary Hassen said his captain has deemed the case a misdemeanor that would be handled by the city attorney rather than the San Diego district attorney. Police also could decide to recommend no charges. A final decision will come sometime this week, Hassen said.

At the time of his arrest on Labor Day, Carrillo was jailed on suspicion of felony battery. Local authorities have refused to release a booking photo.

After news of his arrest was first reported Wednesday, Carrillo released a brief statement and then went silent. He left the next day for Russia on a group trip to explore the history of Russian settlers on the North Coast.

Carrillo was unavailable for comment Monday. He is due to return Friday from Russia.

Carrillo, 31, was picked up shortly after 2 a.m. Sept. 3 after a fight broke out involving him and two other men on a street in San Diego’s popular Gaslamp Quarter.

The man identified by police as the victim, Jovan Will, 31, of Mesa, Ariz., was found unconscious and hospitalized briefly. He has declined comment.

Hassen said Will was on pain medication when contacted by investigators and was unable to decide if he wanted to press charges against Carrillo.

Former west county Supervisor Eric Koenigshofer, a close political supporter of Carrillo’s, said the two spoke before the statement was released and he advised Carrillo to say nothing further because the legal process and investigation were under way and beyond his control.

“There wasn’t anything he could do between the incident and when he had to leave (for Russia) other than to issue a clear, concise statement that briefly answered the question of what happened,” said Koenigshofer, who is an attorney but is not representing Carrillo in this matter.

Koenigshofer said that when they spoke, Carrillo was “very upset because the incident occurred and he was basically embarrassed about what would inevitably be the kind of coverage. And he expressed great interest that the facts should get out.”

In his statement, Carrillo said he was on a personal trip and socializing with friends who included women that “rowdies” started to harass.

“I stepped in to protect them,” he said.

A police spokeswoman said witnesses to the fight included women who said they were with Carrillo, who was released the day of his arrest after posting $10,000 bail.

Investigators are expected to reach out to Will again today to determine if he wants to go forward with prosecution, Hassen said.

“We’re waiting to see what the victim wants to do on this one,” Hassen said.

Carrillo and another suspect, Rayan Jastanyah, 22, of San Diego, who could not be located for an interview, initially were booked on suspicion of felony battery causing great bodily injury and misdemeanor disturbing the peace. Police and San Diego County Jail officials have declined to release Carrillo’s booking photo.

No additional details have emerged about Carrillo’s trip to San Diego or the 2:10 a.m. incident, which took place on bustling Fourth Avenue, lined with restaurants and bars, a pricey nightclub, an art gallery and a residential hotel.

Late-night disturbances of the sort Carrillo apparently was involved in are not entirely uncommon as hundreds of patrons, who often have been drinking, are discharged into the night as bars close, said restaurant employees in the area.

Carrillo was not tested for alcohol or drugs, San Diego Police Lt. Andra Brown said, and Koenigshofer said he did not know whether Carrillo had been drinking.

“I suppose there are some people in our community who in their 20s and early 30s never went out to nightclubs with their friends or never drank,” he said, “but probably and in my experience, it’s not an unusual thing and it’s not illegal. So if he had been drinking, it wouldn’t be surprising.”

Susan Upchurch, Carrillo’s district aide, said Monday she had taken calls from “less than 20″ constituents and “most have been very supportive.”

Asked for further details, she said: “I’m a county employee and I have a very busy job trying to serve the constituents of the district. This is a personal matter and I’m not involved in it, other than answering calls about it.”

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com.

You can reach Staff Writer Jeremy Hay at 521-5212 or jeremy.hay@pressdemocrat.com.

18 Responses to “Carrillo charges reduced, may be dropped in San Diego fight”

  1. Western Cluebird says:

    What happened to the “I can’t wait to tell my side of the story” statement he made before scurrying off to Russia?

    Carrillo may feel compelled to take another verbal swing and written jab at Paul Hobbs for having the gall to plant a vineyard to deflect attention from his own questionable behavior and get his pacifist environmentalist attorney persona back in place.

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  2. Reality Check says:


    Yes, and I must say, as two guys who advocate for efficient government, hanging someone before the trial would save a lot of money. Enough to close the pension gap? Hmm.

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  3. Fiscal Conservative says:

    It’s possible the victim is not pressing charges due to acceptance of a check and an agreement to drop all criminal charges including any civil suit.

    I knew a ya-hoo that used to get into this type of trouble and that’s what his mamma’s lawyer would do to fix everything.

    Pitiful, but that’s how these things get resolved without court involvement or public information.

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  4. GAJ says:

    RC, you and I might lose our “give the opposition no quarter/liberal hating” labels if we keep this up!!

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  5. Reality Check says:

    I’m no supporter of Carrillo, but hold near and dear our, apparently, under appreciated judicial system that considers someone innocent until proven otherwise.

    Tough jury. Some of you don’t need to wait even for the evidence before voting to convict.

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  6. GAJ says:

    If the “victim” doesn’t want to press charges, likely because his friend might face charges also, then, at the very least, sounds like Carillo was not the aggressor after all.

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  7. Paul says:

    The average Joe would have been tested for drugs and alcohol with those results going to the D.A. along with the rest of the evidence.
    We all know this guy is gonna walk, where he average Joe would have some explaining and some cakes to walk.
    I suggest we just refer to our gallant leader as Efren “Killer” Carillo from now on. I mean, he’s proven he’s a tough guy, standing his ground rather than walking away. Enjoy that nickname, Efren…you earned it.

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  8. Joseph says:

    I am just waiting for the day he does this with an off duty officer; and gets his #%& handed to him in a basket. More than likely this incident was picked up by the numerous cameras in the area and was recorded. But for the reason the victim was from Arizona it was deemed a lessor charge. Absurd.

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  9. Dick Tracy says:

    All but one of these posts are predicated on pre-assumed guilt. The other one, having to do with publishing the mug shot, is not obviously founded on facts. While I have not done a scientific survey of the subject, I believe it is usually entertainment figures who have their mugshots published, and in TMZ, not the PD.

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  10. Snarky says:

    Today is Sept 12.

    And the Press Demo still REFUSES to publish the booking photo / mug shot for this case to it subscribers.

    Yet the Press Demo routinely publishes booking photos / mug shots of everyone else involved in high profile crimes.

    So, perhaps the new owners of the PD are no different that the previous owners who catered to the government crowd?

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  11. Joe Tomelleri says:

    Friends in high places.

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  12. Steveguy says:

    Good, I hope for no charges, as we have become a police state with weird zero-tolerance laws and rules.

    If the supposed ” victim” comes forward to press charges, that is his right. It seems that he is VERY quiet on the matter. At fault?

    The 2:10 Am thing is odd, but I am old and don’t stay up that late without a nap. Oh my

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  13. Noah says:

    It pays to be politically powerful, doesn’t it? I don’t want to be represented by a person who displays violent behavior causing great bodily harm, gets arrested on felony charges and leaves on a trip to Russia the next day. The fact that charges may be dropped does not excuse what looks very much like callous disregard for his constituents.

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  14. John Abrahams says:

    Charges have not been reduced. There are no charges, only an arrest. Only prosecutors can bring charges; DA’s, or in some cases, city attorneys. Police only make arrests. and often make arrests on charges that are never filed.

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  15. jenny says:

    I bet if he was low income, he wouldn’t be so lucky. if you are an elected official you are supposed to compose yourself in a manner suitable to the position you are hired into. I teach my sons to never put your hands on anyone. what if the man he punches hit his head on the curb and died?

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  16. Jim says:

    Gotta love the two different police processes. If I was arrested for this same crime I would have been tested for both drugs and alcohol. Carrillo wasn’t. My booking photo would be public. Carrillo’s isn’t. More investigation would have gone into the case. Do we actually believe Carrillo was protecting women from “rowdies”? Seriously??

    I predicted this when the story first broke. No charges. Carrillo walks. The idiots will vote for him as he moves his way through the corrupt and criminal CA political system. Why wouldn’t they…he is a “diverse” candidate so he must be good.

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  17. Snarky says:

    Well, well, well.

    Government criminals protecting their own. Its the same old story. How many times have you read of some government person arrested and then quietly “cleared” later as charges are dropped?

    AND… the Press Democrat still has not provided subscribers with the mug shot of the arrest even as they publish photos of mere peon members of the public who were arrested.

    You notice a similar activity with that US Park Ranger who shot a dog walker in his back with her Tazer electric gun after having stopped him for walking a dog without a leash near his home in Montara, CA ? SHE was quietly transferred to Grand Canyon… after her government “managers” supposedly “investigated” the incident… and, by the way, REFUSED to provide details of that “investigation” to Sen Jackie Spier who formally wanted to see the investigation details.

    The government investigators at the Park Service told Sen Spier that the “investigation” details were protected information… even though they “cleared” that ranger of using a weapon on an UN-armed dog walker.

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  18. Carrillo walks on water or b.s.? says:

    We may never know the true story about Supervisor Carrillo. Pressure in San Diego from his lawyers and well-connected supporters like Bosco (BF of Jerry Brown) and Koenigshofer to reduce or drop charges is probably whats happening. All we the public will get is the scripted story from a rising politician and his attorneys. Unless the guy who was decked wants to put himself through the wringer and file charges, even if he’s got money for his own lawyer.

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