Petrilla Releases Statement About 2001 Arrest

Rancho Santa Margarita councilman and State Assembly candidate Jesse Petrilla releases a statement about his 2001 arrest.

Rancho Santa Margarita councilman Jesse Petrilla is running for State Assembly. Credit/Martin Henderson
Rancho Santa Margarita councilman Jesse Petrilla is running for State Assembly. Credit/Martin Henderson

Editor's note: Jesse Petrilla, city councilman for Rancho Santa Margarita and candidate for State Assembly in the 73rd district, released a statement to selected individuals Tuesday in response to an article posted in Patch about his arrest and conviction in 2001 for two counts of assault with a firearm. Patch independently obtained documents from Placer County Superior Court to support the story. Petrilla's statement is unedited.  

Statement from Jesse Petrilla

This week, my wife and I are welcoming the birth of our son. While this is cause for great joy, I now need to address an incident that has been posted on the Internet.

On the night of March 11, 2001 (at the age of seventeen), I was amongst a small group of my friends in a remote area just outside of the city limits in Auburn, California, (where I grew up), when we were confronted by many carloads of known older drug addicts and local criminals who clearly intended us physical harm. I fired a couple warning shots from a friend’s father’s .22 rifle in an attempt to stop their advances. It worked, and no harm was done as the attackers returned to their vehicles and fled.

I was arrested the next morning and charged with multiple counts, each and every one of which was ultimately dismissed. Each and every one of them.

As you may know, I then went on to join the Army National Guard as an officer and have received a Secret Security Clearance. Each requiring in-depth background checks.

Reports from local bloggers last night have told a misleading version of events fed to them by my political opponents' political opposition researcher, clearly afraid of the momentum of my campaign. For fourteen opening paragraphs, one blogger offered cherry-picked pieces of salacious-sounding evidence before ultimately noting that in fact, all charges were dismissed.

Former Senator John Lewis, who represented Orange County for twenty years in the legislature, also commented on this matter by saying "Jesse Petrilla is a honorable young man who has served his country with distinction with his service in Afghanistan. It is a shame that some political opponent is twisting the truth of an incident that happened years ago for political advantage."

These desperate attacks will not deter me one bit from continuing my campaign, or the momentum it has been gaining. And I know that as voters explore my record, what they will find is: a military officer, a small business owner, a husband, and expecting parent.
Josh Nowack January 29, 2014 at 12:43 AM
So much of a rush to judgment. I have not met Mr Petrilla and have no opinion on his candidacy. But I will say this - who among us has not committed some transgression between ages 17-21 that if caught would have warranted some legal mark on us. The original patch article references the pleadings but neglects the circumstances. Mr Petrilla's statement references the circumstances but omits the convictions. At the end of the day, we are passing judgment on a man who we may or may not know on an event that happened 12 years ago. Some of you may feel entitled to pass judgment on his entire life by virtue of his willingness to serve the citizens of our town. I ask for civility. If you want to attack his record as a councilman - go ahead. If the best you have is an event from 12 years ago when he was 17 and find that suitable to condemn him, then, in the spirit of fairness, spend the same time and effort describing his actions in the service of the US Military. Seemingly, he's fired again more times than that one evening. Seemingly, he had huge the. courage to lay his life on the line for our country. If you spend so much time to find and research on where he's gone wrong - spend a fraction of the time to research and share where he's gone right. Again, I don't know him. I don't know his record. But if this is an article about his candidacy then speak to his record. Tell me where his votes have harmed our city. Or better yet, tell me, in a positive way, of why I should vote for someone else. Above all, let's remember that Mr Petrilla is a real person with a real heart who has a family reading your statements. He lives in this community with you. And he is doing the best he can, with what he knows and what he believes, to serve this city. If you don't support his beliefs than vote accordingly. But let's keep it about issues that actually matter.
HA January 29, 2014 at 09:51 AM
Please...he's still a bigoted republican....... can he explain his actions in 2006.... http://ocpoliticalwatchdog.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/assembly-candidate-jesse-petrillas-shocking-past/ http://la.indymedia.org/news/2006/09/177883_comment.php
HA January 29, 2014 at 11:26 AM
What did those American muslims have to do with UBL....why taunt them??? What did they do to deserve that???
HA January 29, 2014 at 11:27 AM
Its ignorant bigotry....plain and simple
Lori Clements January 29, 2014 at 11:35 AM
I recently went to my first city council meeting and suggest you do the same if you have not been. Councilman Petrilla was the only member interested in what the "people" had to say and the ONLY ONE in discussing a resolution. Councilman Beal & Mayer Gamble, on the other hand was happy to hold us hostage. Rambling on and on until 3:00AM in the morning, in hopes that "we the people" would tire before our turn to speak.
David Collier January 29, 2014 at 12:19 PM
Congratulations on the baby Jesse!
HA January 29, 2014 at 12:29 PM
Well PublcSJC....that's all completely false. becasue it's reported by WND, a far right conspiracy website,...but no suprise that you believe WND, which still believes Obama wasn't born in America......
RH January 29, 2014 at 12:32 PM
Looks like Petrilla haters were waiting to post on this. Don't know enough about these allegations to comment in depth myself. But,find it nauseating a number of the comments are so intolerant and dogmatic. With all the current and recent shenanigans going on at all levels of politics, it is more than amusing to hear individuals hanging their arguments on the tiny hook of an incident that happened when this guy was 17. That all you got? You must be campaigning exponentially more fervently to get the President, Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, McCain, Christy, Graham, and others of their ilk out of office.
Sharon Y. January 29, 2014 at 01:14 PM
Love the way the few Jesse supporters gloss over the fact that he continues to mislead the public and refuses to tell the truth about his past. As I have stated before the man lacks character and should resign for intentionally deceiving the public and continuing to do so. He is a man with no moral character plan and simple.
Dove Canyon Oldtimer January 29, 2014 at 02:08 PM
I have to laugh at the Petrilla lovers on here who think it is just fine for a convicted felon who opened fire on a vehicle with people in it and then lie about it when it comes up.
Lori Clements January 29, 2014 at 02:22 PM
Laugh all you want. I find it sad that politics are so corrupt! I have to wonder if all the people that have posted have done their homework on Jessie? And for that matter Beal? Making a stupid decision at 17 or manipulating the system...I pick, stupid decision!
RSM Family January 29, 2014 at 04:37 PM
Amazing! People defending a convicted felon...convicted felon can't admit he was wrong...people justifying his actions because he was 17...ignoring that he is Lying...no way does he represent my family...He needs to go, now!
Lori Clements January 29, 2014 at 06:49 PM
I understand what your saying but do a little investigation on some of our other council members. Just because it's not in black and white yet, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You have to look at the entire package good and bad and make an educated decision. And we may have to agree to disagree.
Dove Canyon Oldtimer January 29, 2014 at 08:31 PM
Hey Pub, we will give him to you for no charge. If you want a convicted felon who shot a rifle at a car with people in it, you can have him. We can elect a new person to replace him. We don't need your dead weight politicians either. But if you really want to get rid of them, then you should also know that one of our other so called great American councilmen, Steve Baric, is your 3 councilmen's lawyer and political operative. Since he and Petrilla are tied at the hip, we will give you a package deal! Then you can replace your 3 crooks with a convicted felon and a slimeball lawyer.
Rsm Truth January 29, 2014 at 10:36 PM
Dove Canyon Oldtimer (Jennifer Beall) You and your friends are too much! The man could not even vote if he had a felony on his record. They were dismissed for good reason. You better take a look at your own personal life!
Something Special Cateirng Inc. January 30, 2014 at 01:02 AM
I don't think you can join any armed forces with a felony folks
Mary E January 30, 2014 at 12:46 PM
Is it true Martin Henderson was fired the next day because of the original article?
Shawn Gordon January 30, 2014 at 02:18 PM
Not at all true Mary. As has been noted in the news, The Patch was sold off by AOL recently and the new owners have been downsizing, they've consolidated 3 cities under Penny as of today. Has nothing to do with any of the stories.
Rsm Truth January 30, 2014 at 02:46 PM
SMGA3000 (are you shawn gordon?) If you believe this public release you are very gullible and naive! Also if you believe Tony Beall's LAWYER who is April Josephson, you are also naive. April Josephson, Tony Beall, Carol Gamble, Gary Thompson and Jerry Holloway have been around so long that they have lost sight of what is good for RSM. They actually have become believers of their delusions! Martin Henderson became vehement in his defense, promotion and support of the above named politicians. He was indoctrinated when he first arrived in RSM by April Josephson. It became just a matter of time before the axe fell! Next to fall from grace will be Tony and Jennifer Beall as the truth surfaces!
Rsm Truth January 30, 2014 at 03:03 PM
SMGA-Are you Shawn Gordon? If you believe April Josephson's responses you are very naive. She is Tony Beall's LAWYER. Tony & Jennifer Beall, Gary Thompson, Carol Gamble and possibly also Jerry Holloway have been in RSM government too long! They have started to believe their delusions. In reality they are power hungry politicians at the expense of RSM. The calculated takeover of SAMLARC is just one more example of their ruthless pursuit of supposed power!
JTTPW January 30, 2014 at 03:10 PM
"Hundreds of employees were laid off at Patch today, just two weeks after AOL handed over the majority of its stake to Hale Global. Most of the journalists from its 900 hyperlocal sites were terminated, along with many of Patch’s corporate employees.." http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2014/01/29/hundreds-laid-off-at-aol-patch/
Rsm Truth January 30, 2014 at 03:11 PM
SMGA- If you believe the public reason for Martin Henderson's Dismissal you are also naive. Martin became obsessive in his promotion, his defense and his promotion of Beall, Gamble, Thompson, Leonard and associates. He was indoctrinated upon his first arrival in RSM by April Josephson which ultimately led to his dismissal. A good reporter stays neutral and gives both sides of a story! RSM Patch became his private attack vehicle which has also been used by The Bealls and their supporters. Don't be surprised if The Bealls are the next to fall from grace in RSM when the truth surfaces!
Rsm Truth January 30, 2014 at 03:21 PM
JTTPW- Companies typically only lay off the people that they do not want to keep! They defiinitely want to rid themselves of troublemakers and problems. Give me a break! LOL
Poot Smelly January 30, 2014 at 04:42 PM
Sharon Y. RE: your "THE FEW JESSE PETRILLA SUPPORTERS" remark, let me refresh your memory! Petrilla got the most votes in 2010 and in spite of your Rabid Beall Support and departed Martin Henderson's demonetization, Petrilla still garners massive voter support! Too bad for you and Jennifer Beall!
David Collier January 30, 2014 at 04:53 PM
RSM Truth- what is your real name? Why are you hiding behind a moniker that should be capitalized but isn't? Did you forget the basic grammatical rule of capitalizing all the letters in an acronym or did you forget to put the vowels into your first name?
Sharon Y. January 30, 2014 at 04:59 PM
Poot, I see from your nurmous post you don't care for the Bealls, fine and I am not here to change your mind. I am however standing my ground on Jesse. He had many opportunities to tell the truth, man up and be straight with the public, he chose not to but instead give a Clinton like explanation of what occurred. That might be fine for you but not for me. I have no time to get in a tit for tat with you and frankly don't care who you hate or like. I made a comment on a blog about the topic. As for the' he had the most votes', if memory serves he won by a little over 300 votes and if the voters had been told the truth about who he is and his pattern of violent behavior I am not so sure he would have won at all. That is the last I will have on the subject at this time, I have shared my thoughts on the topic as many others have, enjoy the rest of the day.
Poot Smelly January 30, 2014 at 04:59 PM
David, I am no English teacher and obviously neither is RSM Truth. While you are at it, why don't you ask Jennifer Beall why she uses 3 different monikers on Patch? This is a fact!
Rsm Truth January 31, 2014 at 12:29 PM
Good idea Poot! Time for them to come out of their hiding! Sneaky Devils aren't they?
Janet Ewing February 15, 2014 at 06:17 PM
Mr. Petrilla may have shown poor judgement at the age of 17, but those who are bashing him should be aware that in the intervening years he has: 1) graduated from California State University/Fullerton with a degree in Computer Science 2) served a tour of duty in Afghanistan, and continues to serve his country in the Army National Guard 3) started up his own company 4) served his community on the RSM City Council 5) become a devoted husband and now a father. If the most his opponents have to use against him is a mistake he made when he was a 17-year-old kid, they are really grasping at straws. Mr. Petrilla may have strayed off the path as an adolescent, but he obviously has turned his life around which is very much to his credit.
Poot Smelly February 15, 2014 at 09:54 PM
We have figured out that Andrew P. is Tony Beal, Dove Canyon Oldtimer is Jenifer Beal, RSM Family is Gary Thomson, David Collier may be David Collier RSM politics is a vicious group


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