WatchSonoma Watch

Carrillo ‘pleased’ with decision to drop charges


Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo said Tuesday he was “pleased” that the criminal case against him stemming from a Labor Day street fight in San Diego had been dropped by prosecutors.

He responded to questions for the first time during an eight-minute interview on Tuesday, but provided few other details about the altercation, including any more clarity about who delivered a blow that knocked a man unconscious.

Efren Carrillo.

“All I can say is I’m pleased with the decision,” Carrillo said between sessions of the Board of Supervisors meeting. He thanked San Diego police and prosecutors, calling their investigation “thorough.”

Prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence to charge Carrillo, a decision announced Monday by a spokeswoman for the San Diego City Attorney. Carrillo, who was traveling out of the area, could not be reached for his reaction until Tuesday morning.

The 31-year-old supervisor faced misdemeanor battery and disturbing the peace allegations in connection with the fight outside a popular nightclub in the city’s Gaslamp Quarter.

For more than a month, Carrillo has remained tight-lipped about the altercation and his 2:10 a.m. arrest, offering only a pair of written statements.

On Tuesday, he echoed those written statements in a brief interview, saying they constituted a “full explanation of what occurred in the incident.”

He suggested those accounts, released two days and more than two weeks after his arrest, respectively, should have sufficed for constituents in his west county district who said he owed them a clearer and quicker explanation.

“The statements were true and correct,” Carrillo said. “I submitted those statements as fast as I could, given the nature of the incident.”

The second account, issued Sept. 19, reinforced Carrillo’s initial statement that he’d come to the aid of female friends he claimed were being verbally and physically harassed by a stranger. He identified the man as 22-year-old San Diego resident Rayan Jastaniyah, who police also arrested in the fight.

Carrillo added no new details about his confrontation with Jastaniyah during Tuesday’s interview and was guarded about saying much more about that night out with friends. They included his college roommate and three women who dined together and then visited Fluxx nightclub, where Oakland rapper Too $hort was performing.

Carrillo said the fight began as he had previously described.

“I was pretty clear in my recollection of events … that the original altercation began with Jastaniyah accosting the young ladies and that the incident went from the sidewalk and carried out into the street, when other folks jumped in,” Carrillo said.

Among those in the crowd, he said, “I did not see the man who was sent to the hospital. . . . I could sense not only folks in front of me but behind me. So I do not know who struck this man. I do know it was not me.”

Police have identified the injured man as 30-year-old Jovan Will of Mesa, Ariz. He has declined to comment on the fight. San Diego police have not said who they suspect hit him.

A spokeswoman for the San Diego City Attorney’s Office said it dropped the case against Carrillo “because there were conflicting accounts of what occurred and insufficient evidence to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

When Carrillo was arrested, he was booked on suspicion of battery causing serious injury, a felony. But police officials later deemed the case a misdemeanor.

The case against Jastaniyah, including a misdemeanor allegation of disturbing the peace, was also dropped by prosecutors.

Police officials have declined to release other details relating to their investigation.

“The city attorney received the case,” said San Diego Lt. Andra Brown, a department spokeswoman. “If they determined they’re not going forward with the case, it’s a moot point. . . . The case is dead.”

The Press Democrat asked Carrillo for a copy of the statement he gave police the day of his arrest. He said he did not have access to it and that it was “essentially” the same account he gave to the public.

Carrillo was in San Diego on what he has described as a “mini-vacation” with three friends from Sonoma County. It started with a drive down from Sonoma County to San Diego on Friday, Aug. 31, in a rental car and ended with the return trip on Labor Day, after Carrillo had posted $10,000 bail. He was in police custody for about 10 hours and was released from jail around noon.

Asked if the incident had caused him to reflect on how he spends his personal time outside of county business, Carrillo declined to comment

He would not speculate on how the incident might impact his political future. Re-elected to a second term in June, Carrillo has been seen as a promising young politician with roots in the local Latino community and a growing network of backers statewide.

Asked whether a cloud could hang over his political prospects, Carrillo answered with a full-throated insistence that his arrest had not interfered with his county duties.

“Not once did I stop working hard and representing my constituency,” he said. “Even from (the date of) this incident I’ve continued to do my work and do it with the strongest work ethic that I have. And I’m going to continue to do that.”

You can reach Staff Writer Brett Wilkison at 521-5295 or brett.wilkison@pressdemocrat.com.

17 Responses to “Carrillo ‘pleased’ with decision to drop charges”

  1. Can't believe it says:

    There are ZERO facts as we have no trial now…we have a sorta one sided bought off version. Bottom line is you don’t hang out in front of a bar at 2am. You don’t use Marshall arts to hit some guy in the face… (we know someone went to the hospital I guess)…and you don’t say ‘pleased’ when charges are dropped…lost my vote and respect is just how it is!

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  2. Robert says:

    Well Kay, one of the facts is that a woman said she was assaulted and Efren helped her. If that is not the type of person you want on the BOS, that is your opinion. I, personally, like that part of the story. There are times in this world when violence needs to be done to protect yourself or others. Those who are capable, are morally obligated to do so. Those who can, and will not, are the opposite.

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  3. Kay Tokerud says:

    I still have a lot of unanswered questions such as, how drunk was Efren when he attacked a man?, what did Efren have to give in return for the man dropping the charges? What are the details of the beating? Was dropping the charges done because Efren is on the BOS? Why isn’t Efren giving the public his story like he said he would do? All I know at this point is that Efren Carrillo is a violent person that got arrested for assault. Not the kind of person I want representing me.

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  4. Robert says:

    So much disappointment that that Carrillo won’t be dragged through the streets. Interesting. But we have been able to hear from the racists, the elitists who dont like Rapp, the social class proponent that thinks 32 year olds should not have friends outside their age bracket and the haters who hate just to hate. Sonoma County is a melting pot to be sure. Thank goodness there are a few left who might defend the weaker ones against these types, bullies everyone. And that’s just rude.

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  5. Beef King says:

    It is easy to spot the Progressive weasel posters.
    They are the ones who would run in shame rather than protect a friend or loved one from a criminal assault.
    Too bad the weasel vote counts as much as the mature vote.

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  6. Audrey Sanderson says:

    Supervisor Carrillo’s arrogance is astounding. Does he really think that his constituents are concerned about his arrest for battery because it might have “interfered with his work duties’? He is obviously unwilling to look at the fact that what’s at question is his character and judgment, not his ability to keep up his attendance at public events and board of supervisor meetings. I think he is either so arrogant or so immature that he really can not see how voters do not want to be represented by a man who got into a drunken brawl with a bunch of hooligans and punched another man unconscious. They also do not want a supervisor who can not admit he made an error and instead blames others and tries to distract from his own poor choices. He has never apologized to Sonoma County Constituents for this severe poor judgment and lapse in character, and he seems to think he can make it go away with excuses about defending women and platitudes about not missing a day’s work. As a voter and parent I am truly appalled by his lack of character and judgment and think he is a very poor role model for taking responsibility for one’s actions.

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  7. Skippy says:

    “Absolutely unbelievable that the moderators on this site, which I did have respect for, approved the comment by ‘Wilson’. Absolutely unbelievable. Pathetic is a better word to allow someone to blatantly call someone, not just someone but a well respected county supervisor, those names.”

    Hey Buddy!
    I called him an arrogant violent jerk first! Where’s the love?
    And what were you calling GWB a few years back, hmmm?

    “Wake up my friends at the PD or I will cancel my subscription.”

    You mean like everybody else already has?
    Get in line.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  8. Over easy says:

    @ Dick

    You are right in concept but sometimes the sum of the individual bad parts equals a fairly obvious conclusion.

    It is like when kids say “i don’t know how that happened” ya kinda already know.

    Public figure or not at his age Efern should use better discretion and stop hanging out with 21 year olds.

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  9. Snarky says:

    This case reminds me of the usual new item where some cop has shot and killed an UN-armed person…. only to be quietly “cleared” by the District Attorney sometime later when the public is not watching.

    You know. Like that Houston, Texas, cop who just recently shot and killed a wheelchair man with only one leg and one arm who was waiving a “metal object” which turned out to be a writing pen. He will be “cleared” as well.

    The criminals in government protect their own. But be sure to pay them the “tax” money they demand of you.

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  10. Colonel Hogan says:

    When San Diego police officers Colonel Klink and Sargeant Schultz were interviewed, Schultz was quoted as saying “I see nossing…”, which coincidentally is the same statement given by Efren Carrillo. Klink stated “It was all in the statement given earlier.” The custodians continued with their sweeping things under the rug, and the world of politics was once again returned to “normal.” And, as the world turns, welcome back to the days of our lives. This soap opera brought to you by politicians everywhere…

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  11. Unbelievable says:

    Absolutely unbelievable that the moderators on this site, which I did have respect for, approved the comment by ‘Wilson’. Absolutely unbelievable. Pathetic is a better word to allow someone to blatantly call someone, not just someone but a well respected county supervisor, those names. Wake up my friends at the PD or I will cancel my subscription. Enough of Wilson is enough.

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  12. Wilson says:

    Arrogant violent jerk, arrogant violent jerk, arrogant violent jerk…

    And give me a thumbs down if the truth hurts.

    Thumb up 37 Thumb down 19

  13. Skippy says:

    Repeat after me: Arrogant violent jerk, arrogant violent jerk, arrogant violent jerk…

    Thumb up 40 Thumb down 21

  14. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Get a clue people. Cities and counties are broke. They aren’t going to bring something like this for trial even for the average person. It’s way too expensive to bother with especially if the “victims” are guilty of something too and don’t want to also be prosecuted. It becomes a he said, she said. Efren also had a report by one of the women that said he wasn’t violent. Efren is going home, out of their county, so why would they pursue it?

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  15. Dick Tracy says:

    Repeat after me, “innocent until proven guilty, innocent until proven guilty…”

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  16. Noah says:

    I’ll be pleased when I’m not represented by arrogant machos who get into fights at rap concerts. Such behavior by a county supervisor is deplorable; supervisors have to make decisions for all of us, and his was a very bad decision.

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  17. Grapevines says:

    “Came to the aid of women in distress and now charges are dropped”

    Angles are singing, fairies are flying, dogs are happy and the world is good. Unless you are an average person who does not have “connections” to the City/County D.A.’s office who “arranges” to have this whole incident cleared up and charges dropped. Then if you are that average person, you still face charges, court delays, harassment, and probably end up serving time and paying fines.

    Corruption in Government officials, just rub our noses in it and sign how great you are at the next election.

    Excuse me, I think I’m going to be sick.

    Thumb up 33 Thumb down 15

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