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Arroyo Grande love triangle involving councilman became violent, former girlfriend alleges

The woman who was allegedly beaten by Arroyo Grande City Councilman Ed Arnold last month indicated in court documents that she had a sexual relationship with him, and is now involved with his estranged wife.

According to a temporary restraining order filed in late December by the 28-year-old woman, the three lived together for part of 2009. During that time, according to the woman, Arnold would humiliate her by yelling at her, and their relationship was an “emotional roller coaster.”

She also stated that Arnold was intimidating and that she felt like she had to comply with his sexual requests.

The Tribune isn’t naming the woman, an Arroyo Grande city employee, because she is the alleged victim of domestic violence.

Charges haven’t been filed yet in the case, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors say Arnold’s arraignment is expected to take place later this month.

Arnold, 45, didn’t return a phone call from The Tribune for comment Tuesday.

Bludgeoned with club

The alleged victim of the attack stated that Kathryn Arnold — Ed Arnold’s wife — was her “girlfriend” and identified the Arnolds’ two children as her “girlfriend’s son” and her “girlfriend’s daughter.”

The woman said Arnold broke into her home on Turquoise Drive in Arroyo Grande on Dec. 15 and bludgeoned her in the back of the head with a metal club; he had zip-ties that she said he brought so he could strangle her.

The woman alleges Arnold told her repeatedly that he would kill her.

The alleged victim said she was able to press the “send” button on her cell phone, which called Kathryn Arnold, who heard what was going on.

She said Kathryn Arnold called the homeowners where the alleged victim lives to intervene. Kathryn Arnold could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The woman said she then called police, who responded and found Arnold in his vehicle at Oak Park Boulevard and Noyes Road in Arroyo Grande more than an hour after the incident, which allegedly happened before 10:30 p.m.

Police arrested Arnold on suspicion of burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence. Arnold is out of jail after posting $50,000 bail.

The woman suffered cuts and bruises, she said in court documents. Police said she was treated and released from a local hospital after the attack.

Kathryn Arnold also filed a temporary restraining order against Ed Arnold, which included their two children.

In the order, she said her husband told her that the marriage could end only in a death and never a divorce.

Kathryn Arnold filed for divorce Dec. 7, citing irreconcilable differences.

She indicated that she plans to seek full custody of the couple’s two children, a 13-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son.

Both emergency restraining orders filed by the alleged victim and Kathryn Arnold have been granted until separate court hearings are held Jan. 14, according to court officials.

Council impact unclear

Arroyo Grande city officials said Ed Arnold hasn’t resigned from the City Council, to which he was first elected in 2004.

Mayor Tony Ferrara said that a misperception exists that the council has power to remove Arnold.

Ferrara said the ways Arnold might step down are a resignation, a recall, or a physical inability to serve, and noted that the councilman hasn’t informed the city of his intent to leave the seat. “A lot of people think we have the power to vote him off,” Ferrara said. “We can’t do that.”

Arnold has moved out of the family’s Arroyo Grande home and lives in Pismo Beach, according to court documents.

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