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SLO police chief relieved lost gun was found; man who recovered it could face charges

SLO police chief apologizes for ‘carelessness’ of leaving gun in bathroom

San Luis Obispo, California, Police Chief Deanna Cantrell apologizes after she left her gun in the bathroom at El Pollo Loco restaurant.
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San Luis Obispo, California, Police Chief Deanna Cantrell apologizes after she left her gun in the bathroom at El Pollo Loco restaurant.

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More coverage on the SLO police chief’s lost gun

Chief Deanna Cantrell left her gun in the bathroom at El Pollo Loco. Who took it and should she be disciplined? Read more here:


San Luis Obispo’s police chief said Friday that she’s relieved her lost gun was found quickly and appears not to have been used improperly.

Chief Deanna Cantrell reported her lost gun Wednesday after inadvertently leaving it behind in an El Pollo Loco restroom in SLO.

“I am absolutely appreciative of the community’s support and assistance in finding my gun so quickly, and I’m beyond relieved it was not used for anything inappropriate,” Cantrell said.

The man who used the restroom after her, 30-year-old Skeeter Carlos Mangan, allegedly told police he found the gun and put it in his pocket before returning home to Los Osos, the Police Department said in a statement issued Thursday night.

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SLO Police Chief Deanna Cantrell reported leaving her gun behind in a bathroom stall at El Pollo Loco on Wednesday. The gun has been recovered after a Los Osos man, Skeeter Carlos Mangan, turned it in. Courtesy photo

Mangan’s brother-in-law called the Sheriff’s Office to report that Mangan had the gun, and they returned it to the substation in Los Osos. SLO police officials went to Los Osos and interviewed Mangan about the incident, the department’s press release stated.

Capt. Chris Staley told The Tribune that the department will complete a report on the investigation and submit it to the District Attorney’s Office for consideration of any charges, such as being in possession of a stolen firearm.

Staley said that after questioning Mangan, police investigators don’t believe the gun was used for any improper activities.

Cantrell issued a public apology over the incident, saying it will “never happen again” and that she’s prepared for any city disciplinary action that may be handed down.

“I hope that because of my own complacency and carelessness, other people who carry firearms think twice about guarding their weapon,” Cantrell said Thursday.

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Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo since 2004. He also writes regularly about K-12 education, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and Los Osos. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley and is originally from Ojai.
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