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Local businessman seeks to set record straight, clear his name

Local resident says L.A. Times, L.A. Daily News misreported facts

Posted: August 9, 2010 12:51 p.m.
Updated: August 9, 2010 1:00 p.m.
 

It appears that the events of Aug. 8 have been greatly misconstrued by both Sgt. Brian Allen of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department as well as local media outlets. This press release has been prepared to correct this misinformation.

At approximately 2:50 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 8, my wife and I left Chi-Chi's Restaurant (located at 23043 West Soledad Canyon Rd., Saugus 91350).

Upon returning to our vehicle, I observed that my mother, local business woman Margaret Fierro, had called but had left no message.

Further, my wife and I observed the vast amount of smoke emanating from the area surrounding her neighborhood. We immediately proceeded north on Bouquet Canyon Road towards my mother's residence.

Upon arrival, I noticed that there were numerous helicopters in the area, as well as a number of pedestrians going up and down the hill at the west end of Calwood Drive.

I proceeded up that hill in an effort to gain a better perspective on where the fire was in reference to my mother's home, as well as potentially shoot photographs to send to a relative working out-of-state.

Approximately one-half to one-third of the way up the hill, I noticed a uniformed person at the top of the hill, as well as heard a yelp from a black and white Sheriff's vehicle moving at a high rate of speed westbound on Calwood from Oaklar Drive.

I immediately came down the hill with no further instruction or interaction from any law enforcement personnel. At the bottom of the hill I was met by several deputies (I believe there was two or three) who immediately detained me. I was on the scene of the incident for no more that 1-1 1/2 minutes prior to my apprehension.

I was subsequently taken to the Fire Command Post, where I remained for the better part of two hours. I was then taken to the Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station, but immediately (due to the jail being full) was driven home and cited by Deputy Hallack (SER 519895) of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department's Parks Bureau.

At no time during this incident did I make any gestures to deputies, firefighters or any other public officer. Further, I was not escorted out of the area only to return later. These errors were misreported by the Daily News, Los Angeles Times, as well as television media outlets.

Further, there were no fewer than 10 residents of the 20700-20800 block of Calwood Drive that not only know myself, my family, and our character, but who also were explaining to the deputies that I had just arrived, that I had committed no public offense, and that I should be warned without further incident. These impassioned requests were subsequently ignored.

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