Arroyo Grande police search for items used in alleged attack by councilman

The Arroyo Grande Police Department is looking for items that City Councilman Ed Arnold allegedly used to attack a 28-year-old woman last month.

Police filed a search warrant to access Arnold’s gun safe at the Arroyo Grande home where Arnold lived with his wife, Kathryn Arnold, and their two children before he moved out Dec. 7.

A second woman, a city employee who is the alleged victim of the Dec. 15 attack, lived in the home during part of 2009, according to court documents.Police Cmdr. Chuck Gerhart said that a search of the safe didn’t turn up a black bag, a device used in the alleged beating, or zip-ties described by the alleged victim.

The woman told police she believed the zip-ties were brought to strangle her, according to court documents. The Tribune isn’t naming her because she is the alleged victim of domestic violence.

“We’re still looking for those items,” Gerhart said. “… I don’t know if there is any evidence of him going into the safe and removing anything (after the alleged attack).”

Arnold didn’t respond to The Tribune’s phone or e-mail requests for comment Wednesday. Kathryn Arnold also was unavailable for comment.

Gerhart said police continue to investigate the alleged crime, and he expects an arraignment to take place Jan. 25. Arnold, 45, was released from jail after posting $50,000 bail.

Arnold was arrested after allegedly breaking into the woman’s room in the 800 block of Turquoise Road and then hitting her repeatedly while saying he was going to kill her.

“According to the victim, Arnold had parked around the corner, snuck into her room and hid behind a door, and waited for her to come in,” Officer Dan Langstaff wrote in the warrant.

The warrant states Arnold’s “best friend” was at the scene of the alleged attack and saw him leave with “a bag containing a club described as a metallic pipe with black tape wrapped around it” as well as a bag and zip-ties.

Arnold’s whereabouts were unaccounted for just after the incident and before his arrest, Langstaff said.

Kathryn Arnold told police her husband had kept “since high school” a metallic or aluminum pipe with black electrical tape wrapped around it, the warrant states.

“She also has seen him store this club inside his gun safe along with several guns,” according to the warrant.

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

The alleged victim stated in a restraining order that Arnold and she had “a few sexual encounters” and that he was intimidating and had been verbally abusive in the past.

The woman also said in the restraining order that Kathryn Arnold is her “girlfriend.”

Police seized three guns from Arnold’s home in Pismo Beach, including a gun with a laser scope attached, the warrant shows.

Langstaff noted Kathryn Arnold expressed concern for her personal safety. The alleged victim also reportedly said that Arnold told her he had researched ways to kill himself and the victim.