Homeowner Blasts Sheriff’s Department For Raid On Dem Candidate Fundraising Event

Shari Barman, the homeowner who was arrested at this past weekend’s fundraiser for Democratic Congressional candidate Francine Busby (CA-50), put out a statement yesterday evening. She condemns the sheriff’s department’s raid as having been based on a non-legitimate noise complaint by a politically-motivated neighbor, who had allegedly yelled anti-gay slurs towards the event, and she accuses the arresting deputy of having committed unprovoked brutality.

Key quote:

Contrary to what has been reported, I did not in any manner strike Deputy Abbott. He and I had only been conversing for a minute or two when he grabbed my arm, twisted it behind me and threw me on the floor. His actions were completely unexpected, excessive and I believe, unwarranted. The remaining guests who witnessed what occurred and who were pepper sprayed were stunned and outraged.

Also contrary to what has been reported, this was the first time any deputy had been to my home that evening. I believe the noise complaint to the police may have been politically motivated based on the shouting we heard during Ms. Busby’s speech.

In my opinion the charges brought against me are unfounded and were brought only in order to cover up Deputy Abbott’s unprofessional behavior. What happened in our home was shocking and I don’t believe would have happened had the situation been handled properly.

Full statement after the jump.

As the Cardiff homeowner involved in the incident on June 26, I want to issue the following statement in an attempt to address much of the misinformation which has been reported.

On June 26, we hosted a fundraising event for Congressional candidate Francine Busby. The event was scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and was an opportunity for those interested to meet Ms. Busby. Approximately 50 people attended. At around 8:15 p.m., on our back patio, Ms. Busby made a brief speech to those in attendance with the use of a PA system. During her remarks, a male heckler from another property behind our home started shouting disparaging remarks about Busby as well as gays. Ms. Busby finished her remarks at around 8:45 p.m. and the event continued. Shortly thereafter, most people started leaving. Other than quiet background music there was no other entertainment.

At approximately 9:35 p.m., as the event was winding down, with the remaining guests just standing around engaged in conversation, a Sheriff’s deputy named Marshall Abbott walked into our home unannounced and asked for the homeowner, at which time I identified myself. In a very aggressive manner, Deputy Abbott said he had received a noise complaint and I explained that Ms. Busby had used a PA system for approximately 30 minutes but we were very aware of finishing before the 10 p.m. sound ordinance went into effect. Deputy Abbott asked for my name and date of birth. I gave him my name and politely asked him why he needed my date of birth. He said it was for identification purposes in case they needed to return to the premises. Because he had my name and I had identified myself as the homeowner, I asked why he would need my date of birth. He told me I was under arrest, grabbed my right arm, twisted it behind me and threw me on the ground. Some of the 25 or so people who were still in attendance observed what was happening and started asking the deputy what was going on. My partner, Jane Stratton, asked him to please be careful as I had recently had right shoulder surgery. His response was to knock her to the ground. At this point, some of the guests attempted to come to my aid and to Ms. Stratton’s. Without warning the deputy started pepper spraying everyone, even those who were simply standing in the area. All of this happened in a matter of minutes. I was subsequently arrested and transported to the Vista detention center and released the following day at 11am.

Contrary to what has been reported, I did not in any manner strike Deputy Abbott. He and I had only been conversing for a minute or two when he grabbed my arm, twisted it behind me and threw me on the floor. His actions were completely unexpected, excessive and I believe, unwarranted. The remaining guests who witnessed what occurred and who were pepper sprayed were stunned and outraged.

Also contrary to what has been reported, this was the first time any deputy had been to my home that evening. I believe the noise complaint to the police may have been politically motivated based on the shouting we heard during Ms. Busby’s speech.

In my opinion the charges brought against me are unfounded and were brought only in order to cover up Deputy Abbott’s unprofessional behavior. What happened in our home was shocking and I don’t believe would have happened had the situation been handled properly.

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