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Law and Disorder 11-20


U.S. Forest Service and Santa Barbara County Fire Department investigators announced on 11/17 that a 16-year-old suspect has been arrested on arson charges associated with this summer’s Gap Fire, which burned approximately 9,544 acres of private and National Forest land. The total cost of suppressing the fire exceeded $20 million. The 16-year-old is in custody at a juvenile detention facility in Santa Maria.

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Patrick Plamondon, former principal of Hope and Monte Vista Elementary schools, was pronounced dead at Santa Barbara County Jail on 11/12, after being found unresponsive in a cell around 2:50 a.m. Emergency crews were unable to resuscitate the 59-year-old, who was jailed on 11/10 after allegedly violating a restraining order from his estranged wife. Though no signs of foul play were revealed, the coroner is investigating his death. (/plamondon)

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After 10 years on the lam, 58-year-old Susan Mangan was arrested on 11/11 in connection with her alleged involvement in a Canon Perdido Street brothel with her husband, Brian “Dragon” Mangan. She had been living in Oakland since 1998 under various aliases and was returned to Santa Barbara where she faces charges of pimping, pandering, and keeping a house of “ill fame.” Investigators are looking into charges of identity theft as well. (/mangan1120)

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Melrose Place star Heather Locklear was charged with a misdemeanor driving under the influence of prescription drugs, according to a claim filed on 11/18 by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office. She was arrested in Montecito on 9/27 after witnesses saw her driving erratically and called authorities. Her arraignment date is 1/26 at the Santa Barbara Court House.

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Three individuals suffered wounds as a result of a gang-related altercation near downtown Santa Barbara on 11/12. A 17-year-old was walking on Bath Street near Micheltorena when, according to police reports, he was attacked by individuals who stepped out of a white Toyota Tundra. A 15-year-old came to the 17-year-old’s defense, but the 17-year-old was stabbed in the abdomen. The 15-year-old suffered minor injuries, but sliced one of the attackers’ ears and stabbed him in the neck. All were treated at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, while police continue to look for the truck and its other occupants. (/gangs1120)

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Inmates representing California’s 177,000 current prisoners have begun laying out their case against the state prisons before a three-judge panel in San Francisco this week. Attorneys contend that overcrowding is responsible for unacceptably substandard medical care and that 50,000 prisoners must be released to bring prison populations down to 130 percent above capacity as opposed to 200 percent. State attorneys counter that such a release would pose an immediate threat to the California public. (/prisons1120)

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A Bahraini prince has sued former Santa Ynez resident Michael Jackson for $7 million, claiming the singer failed to deliver on his obligation to produce a new album. Among the prince’s allegations-unveiled in a London court-is that he spent $350,000 on a “brain power guru” on Jackson’s behalf shortly after Jackson was acquitted on child abuse charges. Jackson, who is claiming he is too sick to travel to London to defend himself, has charged the prince-Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa-took unfair advantage of his fragile mental state following the child abuse trial. Jackson moved to Bahrain almost immediately after that trial was over.

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The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case of a 38-year-old Woodland Hills man whose lawsuit against the owners of a Solvang Chinese restaurant got him barred from filing any more lawsuits by a federal judge four years ago. By 2004, Jarek Molski had filed more than 400 cases against small business owners claiming their premises were not wheelchair accessible. Typically, the businesses would agree to settle by paying Molski $4,000. Molski insisted he was expanding access for people who, like himself, rely on wheelchairs.

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