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Petrilla Releases Statement About 2001 Arrest

Rancho Santa Margarita councilman and State Assembly candidate Jesse Petrilla releases a statement about his 2001 arrest.

Rancho Santa Margarita councilman Jesse Petrilla is running for State Assembly. Credit/Martin Henderson
Rancho Santa Margarita councilman Jesse Petrilla is running for State Assembly. Credit/Martin Henderson

Editor's note: Jesse Petrilla, city councilman for Rancho Santa Margarita and candidate for State Assembly in the 73rd district, released a statement to selected individuals Tuesday in response to an article posted in Patch about his arrest and conviction in 2001 for two counts of assault with a firearm. Patch independently obtained documents from Placer County Superior Court to support the story. Petrilla's statement is unedited.  

Statement from Jesse Petrilla

This week, my wife and I are welcoming the birth of our son. While this is cause for great joy, I now need to address an incident that has been posted on the Internet.

On the night of March 11, 2001 (at the age of seventeen), I was amongst a small group of my friends in a remote area just outside of the city limits in Auburn, California, (where I grew up), when we were confronted by many carloads of known older drug addicts and local criminals who clearly intended us physical harm. I fired a couple warning shots from a friend’s father’s .22 rifle in an attempt to stop their advances. It worked, and no harm was done as the attackers returned to their vehicles and fled.

I was arrested the next morning and charged with multiple counts, each and every one of which was ultimately dismissed. Each and every one of them.

As you may know, I then went on to join the Army National Guard as an officer and have received a Secret Security Clearance. Each requiring in-depth background checks.

Reports from local bloggers last night have told a misleading version of events fed to them by my political opponents' political opposition researcher, clearly afraid of the momentum of my campaign. For fourteen opening paragraphs, one blogger offered cherry-picked pieces of salacious-sounding evidence before ultimately noting that in fact, all charges were dismissed.

Former Senator John Lewis, who represented Orange County for twenty years in the legislature, also commented on this matter by saying "Jesse Petrilla is a honorable young man who has served his country with distinction with his service in Afghanistan. It is a shame that some political opponent is twisting the truth of an incident that happened years ago for political advantage."

These desperate attacks will not deter me one bit from continuing my campaign, or the momentum it has been gaining. And I know that as voters explore my record, what they will find is: a military officer, a small business owner, a husband, and expecting parent.
Sharon Y. January 30, 2014 at 04:59 PM
Poot, I see from your nurmous post you don't care for the Bealls, fine and I am not here to change your mind. I am however standing my ground on Jesse. He had many opportunities to tell the truth, man up and be straight with the public, he chose not to but instead give a Clinton like explanation of what occurred. That might be fine for you but not for me. I have no time to get in a tit for tat with you and frankly don't care who you hate or like. I made a comment on a blog about the topic. As for the' he had the most votes', if memory serves he won by a little over 300 votes and if the voters had been told the truth about who he is and his pattern of violent behavior I am not so sure he would have won at all. That is the last I will have on the subject at this time, I have shared my thoughts on the topic as many others have, enjoy the rest of the day.
Poot Smelly January 30, 2014 at 04:59 PM
David, I am no English teacher and obviously neither is RSM Truth. While you are at it, why don't you ask Jennifer Beall why she uses 3 different monikers on Patch? This is a fact!
Rsm Truth January 31, 2014 at 12:29 PM
Good idea Poot! Time for them to come out of their hiding! Sneaky Devils aren't they?
Janet Ewing February 15, 2014 at 06:17 PM
Mr. Petrilla may have shown poor judgement at the age of 17, but those who are bashing him should be aware that in the intervening years he has: 1) graduated from California State University/Fullerton with a degree in Computer Science 2) served a tour of duty in Afghanistan, and continues to serve his country in the Army National Guard 3) started up his own company 4) served his community on the RSM City Council 5) become a devoted husband and now a father. If the most his opponents have to use against him is a mistake he made when he was a 17-year-old kid, they are really grasping at straws. Mr. Petrilla may have strayed off the path as an adolescent, but he obviously has turned his life around which is very much to his credit.
Poot Smelly February 15, 2014 at 09:54 PM
We have figured out that Andrew P. is Tony Beal, Dove Canyon Oldtimer is Jenifer Beal, RSM Family is Gary Thomson, David Collier may be David Collier RSM politics is a vicious group

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