California

‘Am I being arrested?’ California councilwoman accused of trespassing — at city hall

Southern California councilwoman livestreams her arrest at city hall

A Victorville city councilwoman was arrested Thursday on suspicion of trespassing at Hesperia City Hall. She recorded the arrest on her cell phone in a livestream.
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A Victorville city councilwoman was arrested Thursday on suspicion of trespassing at Hesperia City Hall. She recorded the arrest on her cell phone in a livestream.

A city councilwoman in the Southern California town of Victorville was arrested at a neighboring town’s city hall on Thursday morning — and she livestreamed it.

The councilwoman, Blanca Gomez, was in a “non-public area” of Hesperia City Hall, according to Jodi Miller, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Gonzalo Gurrola, a candidate for Hesperia City Council, told the Victorville Daily Press that Gomez was at city hall helping him and another candidate, Robert Lucero, file paperwork.

Miller said the city manager, Nils Bentsen, asked Gomez to leave and “she became disruptive and refused to leave.”

At that point, the city manager called deputies, who responded to the area, Miller said.

The incident occurred about 10 a.m., VVNG-TV reported.

The Facebook Live video taken on a cellphone opens with Gomez typing on a laptop at city hall. A short time later, a sheriff’s deputy enters the room and introduces himself.

“Am I being arrested?” Gomez immediately asks. The deputy asks whether she’s been told to leave city hall, but Gomez continues to ask if she’s being arrested.

“If you don’t answer my question I’m going to have to take action,” the deputy says.

“Am I being arrested?” Gomez responds. “Yes,” the deputy says, and reaches for the phone on which she’s recording the interaction.

“You are not allowed to touch my property,” Gomez tells him. “You know I’m live. It’s still live.”

“Stop resisting,” the deputy says. Gomez insists that she’s not resisting. The video image goes blurry but the sound of handcuffs being placed on Gomez can be heard. She tells the deputy she’ll be demanding his bodycam video of the incident.

“I’m not worried about that,” the deputy says, informing Gomez that she’s being arrested for trespassing.

The livestream video continues for another hour but little can be seen or heard throughout most of the recording beyond muffled voices.

Gomez was taken to the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto on suspicion of trespassing and resisting arrest, Miller told McClatchy. The councilwoman was later released, according to booking records, the Victorville Daily Press reported.

Both charges are misdemeanors, the newspaper reported.

In early June, Hesperia City Council members went to a Victorville City Council meeting to voice their disapproval of Gomez and call for her to be recalled after she posted a live video of late Hesperia Mayor Russ Blewett in his casket to Facebook, according to the Victorville Daily Press.

A notice of intention for a recall has been filed, the Victorville Daily Press reported July 4.

Two trespassers were caught on video removing Sonoran Desert toads from the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area in Cave Creek, Az. Police are looking for the two suspects.

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