California Crazy: City Reportedly Fining Homeowners for Out of Control St. Patrick's Day Mob Vandalism

California folks are used to seeing insane actions by our local and state governments because a lot of what they do is just plain bat guano. Authorities in Malibu arrested a lone paddleboarder during the COVID crisis—that should tell you all you need to know about some of the folks in positions of power in the Golden State.

Today’s California Crazy entry comes courtesy of a relative of mine who lives in San Luis Obispo, a picturesque central coast California city known affectionately to its locals as “SLO.” (Slow as in “not fast”—not S, L, O.) Some crazy partiers took it a little too far on St. Patrick’s Day as thousands went wild in the streets, vandalizing homes and businesses. Twelve arrests and 189 citations were issued Saturday. 

We’ve seen this type of thing before; it’s unacceptable, but it’s not unprecedented.

Many of the partiers were reportedly students from Cal Poly who destroyed campus property, among other things:

But here comes the crazy part: some SLO homeowners are reporting that they’re being issued fines for partying and vandalism citations, even though they didn’t participate in the melee and actually tried to stop it. From SLO’s “The Tribune”:

Someone should have to pay for the violations and vandalism linked to St. Fratty’s Day partying at Cal Poly, but it shouldn’t be unwitting residents caught in the middle of the Saturday morning fracas. Yet authorities are fining people who were trying to protect their property, according to accounts some residents gave to Tribune reporters. Chloe Mickelsen, a fourth-year student at Cal Poly, said she and her roommates attempted to barricade the doors to their rented home on Hathway Avenue to keep partiers out, though there was still extensive damage to the property. They called the San Luis Obispo Police Department multiple times to report what amounted to a neighborhood invasion. Yet they still were hit with a noise and partying citation.


Another student hasn’t been hit with a fine yet but was also unable to keep the crazed mob out of her house:

Samantha Avalos, another Hathway Avenue resident, told The Tribune that she and her roommates also played “home defense” but were unable to keep students from crashing through the door and climbing on the roof, doing serious damage — including knocking out their internet connection. Avalos said she wasn’t fined, but other residents on the street were stuck with $1,700 citations issued by the city. That amounts to insult on top of injury.

Some students are saying that many in the mob were not actually from Cal Poly. “Most of the kids that were breaking stuff were not residents,” said first-year student Wan Roothman. We’ve seen that before, where outside agitators come in and make it seem like the locals are bad guys. 

Young people get a bad reputation from stories like these, but in reality there are still plenty who are productive members of society but don’t make the front page:

See: Hoge’s Heroes: Five U of Georgia Students Dramatically Save Drowning Family Trapped in Submerged Car

California does some crazy stuff, but authorities need to fix this—pronto. It’s so deflating to continually see miscreants get away with everything while law-binding incidents are punished. The Tribune editorial board summed it up perfectly:

Residents who were trying to keep the revelers out — rather than inviting them in — are in no way to blame for what happened. They deserve sympathy for what must have been a frightening and stressful experience, not a fine. The city needs to straighten out that injustice as quickly and painlessly as possible.

That, and security needs to be revamped next year. This should not have been allowed to happen in the first place, and preventative measures and law enforcement postings need to be put in place. Until then, the vandals need to be identified and brought to account—not the innocent residents who had nothing to do with it.

I’m not holding my breath—because this is California Crazy.

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