Crime

Skeeter Mangan won’t be charged for taking SLO police chief’s lost gun, DA says

No charges will be filed against the man who took the San Luis Obispo police chief’s gun from a restaurant restroom last month, according to a statement from the San Luis Obispo County district attorney.

Skeeter Mangan of Los Osos surrendered the weapon to authorities the day after it was reported missing when Mangan’s brother-in-law reportedly called the Sheriff’s Office.

SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow released a statement on Saturday stating that no charges would be filed against Mangan for taking and possessing the gun.

“While the evidence in this case does support a misdemeanor charge of Penal Code section 485, after thoroughly considering all the circumstances, I have concluded that it would not be in the interest of justice to charge Mr. Mangan with a crime,” Dow said in the release.

Just days before, the Police Department recommended that the DA’s Office file charges of grand theft of a firearm, possessing a loaded firearm in a public place, and burglary, each of which could have been charged as felonies.

In the statement, Dow commended the actions of Sean Greenwood, Mangan’s brother-in-law, who recognized Mangan on social media.

In a statement to KSBY-TV , Greenwood wrote that Mangan has mental disabilities.

Greenwood wrote that after he saw the photo of Mangan put out by the Police Department, he went to Mangan’s home, where he lives with his father.

According to Greenwood, Mangan placed the gun in drawer upon returning home, and expressed an interest in returning it to the owner.

“To understand Skeeter’s actions, you have to understand Skeeter’s mental health state. … He is an extremely shy and quiet man, and for him, verbalizing is difficult,” Greenwood wrote. “Because Skeeter, for the most part, is nonverbal, speaking with friends and family, holding a job and expressing his thoughts is an everyday struggle. He doesn’t have a cell phone or computer, nor does he have social media.”

The gun was returned to the sheriff’s substation in Los Osos after Greenwood called the Sheriff’s Office to report that Mangan had the weapon. San Luis Obispo police questioned Mangan in Los Osos before determining that the gun wasn’t used for any improper activities.

Police Chief Deanna Cantrell issued a public apology and received a one-time pay reduction of $1,600. She must also undergo firearm safety training and is required to discuss lessons learned with all members of the city’s police department.

In a separate but related case, a tip from a Morro Bay police officer on the missing gun led to the arrest of a married couple on felony child endangerment charges. The case will be pursued and prosecuted by the DA’s Office.

Due to a clerical error, police hunting for the weapon entered a home without a search warrant because they believed that the man inside was on probation.

Cheyne Eric Orndoff, 33, was determined to not be in possession of the missing gun, but was arrested along with his wife, Vanessa Marie Bedroni, 31, on charges related to their children, ages 7 and 9.

According to prosecutors, an unspecified amount of methamphetamine was recovered during the search of the home, as well as needles.

The couple’s children were taken into the custody of Child Protective Services.

A law enforcement database called the Criminal Justice Information System showed that Orndoff was on probation for a past crime with the condition that his home could be searched without a warrant. That information turned out to be false upon further review of court records.

The couple have plead not guilty to the charges and are due back in court Aug. 27.

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