Democratic Central Committee (DCC) Chair Daraka Larimore-Hall appeared in court Tuesday to ask for a continuance of a restraining order against his former roommate, and one of the de facto leaders of Occupy Santa Barbara, Marshall Getto. The cohabitation of Getto and Larimore-Hall ended abruptly when a disagreement — of a personal nature, according to both— got physical.

Getto declined to further discuss the incident, but Larimore-Hall said Getto strangled him, put him in a headlock, and punched him in the face. “I’m terrified of being around this person,” Larimore-Hall, who asked that the restraining order be extended for six months to a year, told Commissioner Denise Motter in court. Getto did not attend the hearing, but his counsel, Joe Allen, also a member of the DCC, requested that the order be postponed for a month in order for him to mediate an agreement. He also asked that the restraining order be modified so that it does not ban Getto from attending Democratic Party events.

Larimore-Hall, who noted that Allen was a friend, did not feel that he could impartially serve as a mediator. “I don’t understand why I’m having a conversation with a political colleague in court,” he told Potter. Nor did he feel that Getto should be able to attend party activities, noting that he should be afforded the same protection as anyone else filing a restraining order regardless of his political activities. “This is my job. This is what I do,” he explained.

Motter did not believe that there was any legal barrier to Allen’s involvement in the case, but she did grant a six-month extension of the order without modification and a subsequent hearing on August 21 to readdress the issue. Getto held an appointed position on the DCC, but it has been rescinded since the attack.

Larimore-Hall did not file charges because he believes Getto would benefit more from mental health help than prosecution.


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