Pepper Spray Totally Wrecks Fund Raiser

Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) July 09, 2009 -- When a neighbour called the cops a fundraising cocktail party, hosted for political hopeful, Francine Busby, ended up in total disaster. The party was being hosted at Rubenstien Ave, at the home of Shari Barman, 60 and her partner, Jane Stratton, 55.

Deputies arrived at the Cardiff home at around 9.00 p.m. to issue a warning about loud noise, after a man had called the Sherriff's Department. He said someone was talking over a loudspeaker and the cheering crowd was keeping him awake. The police returned later as, according to the man, the noise had continued.

Barman was arrested on the alleged battery of a peace officer, delaying and resisting arrest, as well as obstructing a police officer from doing his duty. Another of the guests, plus Pam Morgan, 62, were also arrested.

Other guests were soaked with pepper spray, when Barman wouldn't give the deputy information he asked for. A scuffle broke out between Barman and Deputy Marshall Abott. Barman was knocked to the floor. The guests manage to pull Barman away as Abbott doused them with pepper.

Sgt. Thomas Yancey reported "In the chaos, someone kicked the emergency response team member, a woman who is 5-foot-2. After the pepper spray was used, the crowded backed off and Abbott saw Barman in the kitchen and grabbed her". At some point Abbott called for backup and six deputies and a sergeant responded. Eight police cars and a helicopter were directed to the expensive neighbourhood.

43 year old Natasha Cortina, said she and her two children were home with the windows open. "We didn't hear anything until the sheriff came, with eight patrol cars and a helicopter".

Busby said. "Abbott was pepper-spraying the faces of anyone who tried to talk to him. People were stunned. It was something that none of us has experienced". The guests' report of the event is entirely different to the report lodged by the police. Abbott says he felt threatened as guests surrounded him.

Busby, is seeking a Democratic seat in the 50th Congressional District in 2010. She has met with the Sherriff's Department, to talk out about what she claims as a 'phony' noise complaint.

Bushby admits she did use a microphone to talk to the middle-aged guests between 8 and 8.30. Barman said during this time, a neighbour on the property behind her home, was yelling belittling remarks about Bushby and gay people. Busby said "It was a quiet home reception, disrupted by a vulgar person shouting obscenities from behind the bushes. There were no more than 30 people at the party". There was no mention of alcohol, or drunkenness by the police.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has made an announcement that it has commenced an internal affairs investigation into the deputy's use of pepper spray at the fundraising party. Undersheriff Bill Gore said that he has met with several community leaders concerning the incident, including Busby.

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Press Release Submitted On: July 09, 2009 at 12:05 am
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