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New details in arrest as Carrillo heads to Russia

By PAUL PAYNE
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo departed for Russia on Thursday as questions swirled about his arrest during a brawl in San Diego over Labor Day.

Several new details emerged Thursday about the fight outside a San Diego nightclub that left one man unconscious and landed one of Sonoma County’s youngest and most popular politicians in jail for 10 hours on suspicion of felony battery causing injury.

Efren Carrillo.

Police Lt. Andra Brown said the investigation has not reached the stage at which detectives will decide whether to send the case to the San Diego District Attorney’s Office with a recommendation that charges be filed.

She noted that battery with injury is a “wobbler,” meaning it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Felonies are handled by the District Attorney’s Office, misdemeanors by the city attorney, she said.

In Santa Rosa, calls poured into Carrillo’s district office Thursday after the incident surfaced in news reports. Most of the callers expressed support for Carrillo, but some were critical, district director Susan Upchurch said.

Carrillo spoke with his aide Thursday, but for the second straight day did not return multiple phone calls and text messages seeking comment about the early Monday altercation.

His silence has left many key questions unanswered, including who was with him when the fight broke out, who bailed him out of jail and what attorney is representing the 31-year-old supervisor.

In a statement issued by his office Wednesday after reports of the arrest first surfaced, Carrillo said he stepped in to defend women in his group who were being harassed by “rowdies.”

According to family members, Carrillo left Thursday from San Francisco International Airport on an eight-day trip to Russia. He is part of a group of North Coast residents marking the bicentennial of the founding of the former Russian settlement of Fort Ross on the Sonoma Coast.

Fort Ross, now a state park, is in Carrillo’s 5th Supervisorial District.

Carrillo made his own way to the airport for the 2 p.m. flight to St. Petersburg, Russia, electing not to join the other 22 people in the group for the bus ride from Petaluma.

Supporters said they trust Carrillo’s version of the fight and believe he did nothing wrong. Those going to Russia with Carrillo said they didn’t think the incident would overshadow the trip.

“I don’t have any reason to doubt his word about what happened,” said Dave Lemmer of Camp Meeker.

Trip director Robin Joy Wellman said Carrillo would be among those meeting Russian government officials in St. Petersburg and Moscow. State Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, is in Russia on a separate trip with other lawmakers and is expected to join Carrillo at some point.

“It’s important for Efren to be there,” Wellman said before boarding the bus. “We have full faith in him.”

Meanwhile, San Diego authorities offered a bit more information about the confrontation, which happened on Fourth Avenue in the center of the city’s Gaslamp Quarter entertainment district.

Brown, the police lieutenant, said officers were called out at about 2:10 a.m. to find three men fighting in the street. They arrested Carrillo first and then detained a second man, Rayan Jastaniyah, 22, of San Diego, who appeared to try to get away, Brown said.

“The other suspect tried to mingle in the crowd,” she said. “People pointed him out and he was arrested as well.”

She said she didn’t know if Carrillo and Jastaniyah were friends.

The third man, Jovan Will, 30, of Mesa, Ariz., was knocked unconscious, she said. Will declined comment when reached by phone Thursday.

Carrillo and Jastaniyah were booked on suspicion of battery causing serious injury and disturbing the peace.

Carrillo was released from jail just before noon Monday after posting $10,000 bail, according to jail records.

Brown said detectives were interviewing numerous witnesses and Will, who initially is being considered a victim in the case. It is unclear if the fight was captured on one of many video surveillance cameras in the area, but Brown said it was a possibility.

“There are a lot of moving parts to this,” Brown said. “Many witnesses are being contacted.”

It was unclear when Carrillo returned to Sonoma County. He attended a Sebastopol City Council meeting Tuesday night. His aide Upchurch said he was in San Francisco on Wednesday in preparation for his flight to Russia.

Upchurch said she talked to Carrillo on Thursday morning about his travel plans but nothing else.

She said she fielded about 20 calls, most expressing support but some offering critical comments and asking about the funding for the Russian trip. She said Carrillo is paying for it himself.

Upchurch said she didn’t know who Carrillo was visiting in San Diego or who he was with at the time of the arrest. She also didn’t know how long he had been in Southern California.

“I don’t ask him his personal business,” she said.

In a written statement issued Wednesday, Carrillo said he was in San Diego on a personal business trip. He was socializing with a group of friends when “rowdies approached our group and harassed the women in our group.”

“I stepped in to protect them,” he said. “I’m anxious to tell my side of the story during legal proceedings.”

The statement went on to say he was traveling and would be unavailable until he returns to the office for a board meeting Sept. 18. His aide said he was returning to California on Sept. 14, ahead of the rest of the group.

Friends and longtime political backers rallied in his support.

“He is one of my community ‘mijos’ and I’ve always been very proud of how he’s conducted himself and the integrity he’s had in our community,” said Donna Zapata, executive director of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, referring to Carrillo with the diminutive common in Mexican culture.

“The consensus, in talking to folks, is we all know him. There had to have been something that was a motivator,” Zapata said, “and that would have been someone was being harmed. I don’t see him sitting back and saying, ‘Oh, I’m an elected official, I’m going to turn my head.’ ”

Another friend, Rene Meza, an organizer of the annual Cinco de Mayo festival in Santa Rosa, said, “We know that definitely he’s the type of person who would reach out and defend someone in need.”

Staff Writers Jeremy Hay and Julie Johnson contributed to this story. You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com.





32 Responses to “New details in arrest as Carrillo heads to Russia”

  1. Happy Medium says:

    I was shocked to hear this about Efren. Despite the fact that we disagree about his methods of arriving at as well as some of his politically privileged decisions, I still uphold his right to due process. I may not like his choices but most of all still I honor the process.
    People are judging him before his side is told. I hope he recovers this shocking incident. I admire his bravado ~ but I myself would like to hear exactly what happened before I judge. It is a true pity that his methods of fighting are so archaic. Please indulge me a moment of success to say I also have protected women many many times. You can use martial arts to get a point across without hurting someone in the process.
    So what happened? He was challenged? Did he go for it first? Did he know them? Were the women teasing the men as so many dumb drunk women do? Any women who don’t know how to protect themselves, who flirt or get intoxicated and go to “clubs” is putting themselves at risk. Those places attract the unstable it goes with the territory. How close to the establishment were they? Why didn’t they go back inside? Who started it? Was he in an ego state? There are many questions we do not know.

    I’d like to know what happened and I wish people were not so quick to judge. It’s really sad that a guy trying to be decent gets so much criticism and there are far more hideous creatures out there who live in obscure darkness.

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  2. Happy Medium says:

    I was shocked to hear this about Efren. Despite the fact that we disagree about his methods of arriving at as well as some of his politically privileged decisions, I still uphold his right to due process. I may not like his choices but most of all still I honor the process. People are judging him before his side is told. I hope he recovers this shocking incident. I admire his bravado ~ but I myself would like to hear exactly what happened before I judge. It is a true pity that his methods of fighting are so archaic. Please indulge me a moment of success to say I have been in Army Reserves, and also protected many women many many times. Not in the Army but in civilian life. When I was younger, I stood up to guns, knives and fists… and if people would just learn some decent non-violent martial arts, not this over-the-top violent stuff – they would also know how to protect others, get a point across without hurting someone physically in the process. And, the place it occurred it ought to go with the territory ~ any woman who goes to “clubs” is putting themselves at risk. Those places attract the unstable. I’d like to know what happened and I wish people were not so quick to judge. It’s really sad that a guy trying to be decent gets so much criticism and there are far more hideous creatures out there who live in obscure darkness.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  3. Grapevines says:

    Now we learn that the California Criminal Justice System is exercising it’s internal “Quid pro quo” on this. We now have it downgraded from a Felony to a Misdemeanor.

    Wonder who we’ll be letting off the hook from San Diego County to pay for this one?

    Just like we let off that kid who’s dad was the District Attorney from Merced County for drunk driving, forged id, killing another driver and putting his passenger into a coma that he’s never recovered from. Fine example of Criminal Justice at work.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  4. Joe Tomelleri says:

    It is so good to hear all of the “fair minded” people writing on this site commenting on how we should give Efren a chance.

    Too bad these same people don’t take this high minded stance when it comes to Mitt Rommey and Paul Ryan who are trying to rebuild the American economy.

    Funny thing how liberals always have an open mind when one of their own steps into the mud.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  5. Pack of Strays says:

    I’m sorry PD, you did not post 2 of my comments. There was nothing in those comments that was graphic or obscene. But that is okay. Do you want to know why? Because anything that comes close to asking the hard questions you won’t post. So what I asked and the picture I gave you was sent on to other media outlets. Ones who have not been bought by the Sonoma County Government. Y’all have a nice day now!

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  6. John Hudson says:

    I want to know how he pays for his nightlife in San Diego. Drinking in bars is expensive. So are hotels and restaurants. Does he make his supervisorial salary stretch that far? I hears that he was “disadvantaged” and could not have inherited the money. Who put up his bail? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  7. Snarky says:

    STILL waiting for the booking photo.

    Wonder why the Press Demo charges people for a subscription and then REFUSES to provide full coverage of this story like other online media outlets.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  8. pete says:

    Michael says: September 8, 2012 at 2:16 am Efren is one of the finest young men I know. I will wait to hear the full complaint and his response but as a retired police captain I know better than assume the initial details deliver the whole story.
    I am behind him 100%.

    So, you know better that to believe the story 100% but you believe him 100% – cant have it both ways, you must have been a great cop, just believe whatever you want

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

  9. Danielle says:

    There is no such thing as a second impression. My first impression of Efren? He seems like the kind of person that talks about himself in the third person. I saw him at the horse races and he had the audacity to sport a huge “E” belt buckle. No one loves Efren Carrillo more than Efren Carrillo.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3

  10. Eric Kritz says:

    Good thing he won’t be tried – IF he’s tried – in Sonoma County, as from the above remarks, eveyone above includes no one who has all the facts…..unless he/she was actually there. But as can be read…judgements have already been rendered by these locals. Come on folks, let’s give the wheels of justice some leeway here.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 15

  11. Robert says:

    Grapevines are a bit rotten. Pre-judging I see. Anyone arrested is therefore guilty according to so many here. Thank goodness many of you are probably not citizens, or are convicted felons and will not be serving on a jury. You don’t get it and you don’t belong in a fair process. Throwing stones from your glass houses, or in your cases, from under your glass bridges or library internet connections.

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14

  12. Grapevines says:

    Ah, the “Robin Hood” defense.

    “I was coming to the aid of ladies in distress!”

    And if that does not work he can try the patented “Dan White Twinkie defense!”

    You elect a weasel and then wax nostalgically when he reverts to his true nature.

    Thumb up 22 Thumb down 8

  13. Miss Peach says:

    @Susan Suffurage

    “A public figure engaging in an illegal act.”

    Maybe it’s time to brush up on your civics: hereabouts, the accused is innocent until proven guilty.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 11

  14. Snarky says:

    To “Negative”…

    Good question in asking why the Press Demo is AVOIDING publishing the booking / arrest photo.

    Lets see that arrest photo. To refuse to publish it smacks of favoritism. After all, the PD publishes arrest photos of everyone else.

    Why is it, Press Demo, that you publish the arrest photos of the local DUI cases, etc., but you refuse to publish the arrest photo of this case?

    Thumb up 28 Thumb down 7

  15. Que Sera says:

    I am sure everything possible is being done to sweep this under the great California rug!
    By next week we will hear 50 men with sticks attached his group!

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 8

  16. susan suffurage says:

    A public figure engaging in an illegal act. Public figures need to hold themselves to a higher standard. If he can’t conduct himself properly while out publicly how does he conduct himself on the Board of Supervisors? I have to wonder what type of person is making decisions effecting our county.

    Thumb up 28 Thumb down 8

  17. Negative says:

    Where is the booking photo PD???

    Thumb up 31 Thumb down 8

  18. Thea Zurich says:

    Sounds like Efren Carrillo is to immature to be a County Supervisor. After drinking lots of alcohol, Efren – trained in martial arts – used excessive force against a harasser leaving him unconscious then hospitalized.

    San Diego police throw Efren – a violent drunk – into jail, something Santa Rosa police have been reluctant to do.

    Now Efren quietly leaves for Russia, where there is ample vodka and brawling. I hope he stays there.

    Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  19. Dick Tracy says:

    I question the constant references to “2 on 1.” My reading is that 2 individuals were arrested and 1 individual was knocked cold. Efren’s statement was that individuals plural were involved with his party.

    Believe me, it is not the case that those arrested and those injured exhaust the list of combatants.

    Thumb up 12 Thumb down 18

  20. Example says:

    I’m pretty sure everyone who does the downtown bar circuit in SR knows this man and knows he likes to drink. I agree that he should be held to a higher standard!!!

    Thumb up 46 Thumb down 12

  21. One who knows says:

    From one who knows – Efren helps those who can help him in his endeavor to be elected to higher office. He does not have the character or maturity to make a tough decision or to help someone because it is the right thing to do. He will fit right in in Sacramento, just like he does in Santa Rosa, where leadership is confused with following the pack.

    Thumb up 46 Thumb down 11

  22. Rocky says:

    The supporters of Efren in this are truly amazing. Instead of getting this kid the help he needs ( rehab, anger management) they want to twist this two on one assault into a “heroic” act ( as one supporter put it) instead of the criminal act this is. See, these people don’t really care about the life of this kid, he still has value to them as a pawn and can be used for their political views. The fact is, Efren will probably escape from this because of his enablers, but they are also creating one of the biggest train wrecks in local politics. When he hits the wall ( and he will at this rate) its going to be entertaining as well as tragic.

    Thumb up 46 Thumb down 14

  23. Michael says:

    Efren is one of the finest young men I know. I will wait to hear the full complaint and his response but as a retired police captain I know better than assume the initial details deliver the whole story.
    I am behind him 100%.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 39

  24. David Carradine says:

    If greatness is what you seek, you must defend a maiden’s honor.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCyJRXvPNRo

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 22

  25. BigDogatPlay says:

    Adding alcohol to anyone with a huge ego (something that all politicians must have to be successful) who also happens to be a moderately high level martial artist, then injecting them into a heated situation outside a bar, is a recipe for failure. For Mr. Carillo’s sake I hope he was not truly an aggressor or whatever his martial arts background is will not help get his charges reduced.

    I also hope he let his bail bondsman and the court know he was leaving the country…… although an elected official is probably not a huge flight risk.

    Thumb up 36 Thumb down 5

  26. Jim Bennett says:

    Russia?

    Makes sense to me.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  27. snarky says:

    Question:

    If a “black belt” has been boozing like a childish fool, does that lower his skill to that of a purple belt… or …. whatever?

    Thumb up 34 Thumb down 16

  28. Camino Alto says:

    The best way to protect someone being harassed is to get them out of there, period.

    But 2:10am outside a bar, 2 on 1 skirmish and Carillo has martial arts training? And the one doing the harassing is left unconscious? On top of that, Carillo bails out of the country (even thought it was already planned) so he can conveniently avoid answering any questions. These are not the actions of an innocent man.

    All elected officials and public servants are held to a higher standard. They have to be! And Carillo’s silence on this matter is deafening. Now how many feel foolish for voting for this bozo? Recall anyone?

    Thumb up 64 Thumb down 19

  29. Don Meyers says:

    What happens in San Diego doesn’t stay in San Diego.

    In a classless act, Carillo threw away his political career on the Board and all because he may have had too many and got into a street fight over some ladies, with a drunk who didn’t recognize his lordship.

    A hard lesson to learn when you are a public politican.

    Thumb up 68 Thumb down 14

  30. GAJ says:

    “As a martial artist, if you ever have to defend yourself using physical force, and in doing so it lands you in police custody, you should immediately seek the aid of an attorney. When a martial artist, especially a Black Belt is accused of excessive force in self-defense, the standard is usually higher than that of a novice practitioner, a non- martial artist, and a reasonable or prudent person. Many courts believe that it is only fair that one with unique skills is held to a unique standard.”

    http://www.martialartcentral.com/M.a.c/Articles/11.htm

    Thumb up 39 Thumb down 8

  31. clarification says:

    Black Belt? Are his hands already registered as a lethal weapon?

    Thumb up 37 Thumb down 7

  32. Rocky says:

    Two on one, you stay classy in San Diego, Efren

    Thumb up 44 Thumb down 12

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