Assault victim’s lawyer fights for 911 tape

June 19, 2010


The lawyer for a developmentally disabled Atascadero man, who was physically assaulted in March by an off-duty San Luis Obispo police officer, is planning on suing Atascadero police to make the 911 call of the incident public.

The victim of the assault, Scott Summers, 50, who is seeking compensation from San Luis Obispo police officer Scott Cramer, claims he can be heard in the background of the tape screaming for help while his stepmother frantically asks police for assistance.

Terry Francke, an attorney with CalAware and a leading advocate on First Amendment issues that support keeping government open and transparent, said that tapes of 911 calls for assistance should be released under normal circumstances and that San Luis Obispo attorney James McKiernan, who is representing Summers, has a fair chance of winning a suit against the Atascadero Police Department.

Both CalCoastNews and McKiernan have filed Freedom of Information Act requests for the tape. McKiernan also is representing CalCoastNews to get the 911 tape released.

“This is a story with keen interest to journalists throughout the state,” Francke said. “McKiernan will have a lot of support if he has to go to the court of appeal.

“This has never been litigated before and it is about time. I can’t think of a better case to show why access to 911 tapes serves the cause of justice.”

In the Atascadero Police Department’s response, which refused to release the tape to CalCoastNews, Ann Jutras, the department’s support services supervisor, contends that it does not have to release the tape because there was an investigation into the incident and that it is protecting the privacy rights of the victims.

McKiernan, the attorney, disagreed, noting that Summers and the 911 caller have both provided signed releases.

In addition, according to the incident report, the case is closed, Atascadero police noted in its report on the incident.

In a subsequent phone interview in which CalCoastNews asked how the department, which has released 911 tapes to the media in the past, determined which tapes to release, Jutras said it was up to Police Chief James Mulhall’s discretion which tapes the public can have access to.

The incident report said that a physical altercation occurred as the result of a traffic incident and that neither party requested prosecution of the other.

On March 18, Summers, who lives in a disabled housing facility, was pleased when a local auto repair shop loaned him a BMW to temporarily replace his old truck, which was being repaired.

Summers said he was surprised when the owner of a red truck he passed on Old Morro Road East began racing up to his bumper. But he wasn’t worried, because he was only a few blocks from his parents’ home.

In an interview with CalCoastNews, he readily admitted that he whipped around the slow moving truck on a blind corner in the rural neighborhood.

Once at his father’s home, Summers said he had just sat down on the couch when a man started walking down the long steep driveway. His father then asked his son to find out what the man wanted.

Cramer, the off-duty San Luis Obispo police officer, began yelling at Summers, saying, “You think you are someone special because you drive a BMW?”

Before he could answer, Summers said Cramer punched him three times in the Adam’s apple, once in the side, and than threw him through a closed storm door breaking out the glass and tearing the door from its hinges.

Inside the house, his panicked stepmother called 911.

Summers claimed he was screaming for help and for someone to call 911. Cramer, Summers said, was hanging onto his foot as he laid across the doorway when he announced he was a police officer.

Cramer subsequently apologized for his actions, saying that he just found out that a relative had cancer and that he had his 8-year-old son in the car, witnesses said.

He then left before Atascadero police arrived after providing his address.

Summers told Atascadero police officer Aaron Brown he did not want to press charges as long as Cramer paid for the damages. At present, Cramer, also an Atascadero resident, has not paid for the damages.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office declined prosecution after reviewing the four-sentence police report, which failed to provide Cramer’s name or occupation.

Atascadero police Sgt. Jeff Wilshusen said that a supplemental report provided to the District Attorneys office said Cramer claimed the physical altercation was “mutual.”

McKiernan asserts that releasing the 911 tape will help confirm Summers’ version of events that day.

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The absolute hypocrisy and double standards of the local police departments really know no bounds.

Prime example:

Citing “privacy concerns”, the SLOPD refuses to release any information about cases of police officers violating the law, such as the two drug smuggling officers. They didn’t even acknowledge some of these incidents occurred until it was leaked to the press.

However, simultaneously, the SLOPD has now opened up a Facebook fan page, where they are posting mug shots of arrestees. Most of these mug shots are of people arrested for “public intoxication”, which isn’t even a misdemeanor, it is an infraction like a traffic ticket. “Public intoxication” arrests are so subjective that most of the ones that are challenged in court get immediately thrown out by the judge. So what about the “privacy concerns” of these individuals, especially since statistically most of them won’t even be found guilty of this infraction. These aren’t violent or habitual criminals, so where is the public interest in parading their mug shots and violating their privacy rights? Doesn’t the public have much more of a right to know what crimes our sworn peace officers who we are paying to to uphold the law have committed?

I went and looked at that site. They had 8 Drunk in Public photos, complete with name of course and one DUI. I recall that when we were blogging about the Taxi Cab shortage in SLO, it came up about how they (SLOPD) exact a disproportionate amount of DIP arrests as compared to Santa Barbara and the like. Also these arrests are discretionary. Were they really all a danger to themselves or others? I admit that some of them did look like they were but all of them?

That is the cheesiest self serving mafiosa style of back handed campaigning I have every seen. And why is he walking like a girl? I am certain Parkinson’s brother, the attorney, found a loophole in the fair campaigning practices to allow this sleeze. But, will the IRS consider it as a business expense for advertising when it is a masked campaign ad. Fortunately, the IRS allows for annonymous reports as I don’t want to be the victim of Ian’s mob style tactics. Please tell us Ian, why do you still have convicted drug smugglers on paid administrtive leave? Couldn’t your brother write the IA investigation report for you quicker than this.

Saves.I would say maybe a higher up got to him,….!!!!!

“That is the cheesiest self serving mafiosi style of back handed campaigning I have every seen. And why is he walking like a girl?”

And you can spell, (mafiosa), your posts will be a lot more credible if you use simple spell check thanks,…. “That is the cheesiest self serving mafiosa style of back handed campaigning I have every seen. And why is he walking like a girl?

In these days, he could be as girl, give him a break, he is elected, it’s his turn now.

Cheese is the spellling police now, bfd. FYI, Parkinson has not been elected yet and it is not his turn. November will be his time of determination and I doubt that he is actually up for the level of exposure coming his way.

Save me, I’m an idiot I sure hope he doesn’t win but, I’m afraid the uneducated good citizens of this county will elect him, he has manipulated the Philippine population and has their devoted support, maybe Cortez needs to come to the Los Osos community center Philippine Cultural Night on July 17th, 5:30-12:00 pm. and make a rebuttal speech, would Parkinson object to equal politics, seems only fair they should get to hear from Cortez, I wonder how many other groups Parkinson has sowed up.

I’m not certain of the timeline here but maybe:

-If Mulhall had been relieved of duty after the coverup of the car-flipping LEO-pornographer. Or,

-If Mulhall had been relieved of duty after covering up the Solomon gun incident. Or,

– If Mulhall had been relieved of duty after laughing publicly about the Solomon gun coverup at a football game. Or, -If Mulhall had been relieved of duty after the K-Jon disaster,

this sad incident would have been better handled, or never occurred.

Scarlet has made my point much better than I ever could. Fix the problem with the department by replacing poor and unethical leaders. Say your goodbyes to Lisa, Deb and Jimmy and start over.

Is this for real? LOL

Abbey Home Loans Spot featuring Ian Parkinson

by S&S Productions plus

10 days ago 10 days ago: Fri, Jun 11, 2010 4:55pm EST

“Atascadero police Sgt. Jeff Wilshusen said that a supplemental report provided to the District Attorneys office said Cramer claimed the physical altercation was “mutual.”” so what if it was mutual, the cop lost it and beat the crap out of a mentally challenged “Jimmy” who was not faking his illness, the problem is Cramer, may be the one who is really mentally challenged.

And in all reality should and probably will be because of this news paper, God permitting he will be charged, anyone agree?

Well said, I AGREE. No doubt that Cramer is mentality challenged. The thing about Cramer is that he is smart enough to cover it up and fool some people enough to give him a gun and a badge. I take no pity on people like Cramer.

Exactly if you get your yaya’s by fighting at least have a worthy opponent and do it in the ring, gee, I wonder if Chuck L. could spare some time to school this clown.

To hell with Chuck, Cramer how about me, ready to square off in the ring with an old man with a brain and a boat load off training? Old age and treachery will prevail against youth and stupidity every time, up for a dance????? Benefits going to the man you beat down.

A little off subject, but does anyone else feel it’s a little sleazy and unethical for Captain Parkinson to do a TV commercial for Abby Home Loans?

Where did you see that? I does seems a bit odd. Post a link to the ad.

Yes, please post a link to the add. I don’t like statements of fact (you stated a fact) without proof. Please show us the proof. That will go a long way if you’ve got it.

I’m sure if it existed it will come to light, but Cindy is right, some of us simple people don’t even know how to post a link, is that a sin? How can we win if we exclude the very people we are sticking up for in this article, mentally challenged, depressed, paranoid, are we not voices also. I am at the top of the list and many of you would never give me a plus no matter what I wrote because of what I have written in the past and write in the present, want to walk in his shoes or mine?

Cheese, I will always give you a plus. You are a hard working honest man who was “RIPPED OFF”. I will never forget your post about when you wanted to cut off McCarthy’s head and watch it role down the stairs of the white house. As funny as that was, you were hurting and you have every reason to be hurting. I love having your voice around.

I wish you peace and thumb’s up always.

Oh Yeah, and one other thing…….. I wish you your hard earned money back. Didn’t mean to condescend you.

Thank you cindy, and by the red you got it looks like there’s people out there “hiding” that don’t wish I make a recovery, gee I wonder who they might be , M. G. B.,, Stewart title, maybe Tom Kellogg vice president of Stewart title, I could post his email and phone #! I am still expecting my call back from attorney Katz, who is representing all cases against Stewart Title.

LOL, I forgot all about that post. It was late and I was on my way to bed, I had a few too many Sunday Night! I probably deserved some red for bringing up the ‘cut off head”! I’m used red, you forget that I hold the record for the most red (as in most scorned post) in the entire 2+ year history of CCN!

I still wana see yah get your money back though – and BTDT to ;)

Cindy when I first came here I figured you would get a little sunburned, but hold the record, are you sure? What blog, what article? You are only trying to ease my pain. Thanks though!

I saw it on channel 73, the Hallmark Channel. One commercial has a police officer with K-9 in the background, and last night, Captain Parkinson, in a suit, had the pacific ocean behind him. I know why he’s doing this, he spent a ton of money on his campaign attempting to get that golden 50% plus 1, which we all know he didn’t get, so this is free TV time. I guess this is a new way to get your vote, but again, ethically, doesn’t appear to be the correct thing to do. How much lower will he get before November?

I found the video. Your Right.

Thanks for the research and posting the links. It is nice to have facts and independantly review the tape before posting. Good Job.

hotdog I saw it last night on the Hallmark channel 73 Parkinson is wearing a suit with the ocean in the background. Another commercial, which was also on channel 73, was Parkinson speaking with a uniformed police officer and his K-9 in the background. Both commercials are promoting Abby Home Loans (AHL).

Parkinson spent a ton of money on his campaign in hopes to get that 50% plus 1 vote, but we all know, that didn’t happen. I can only assume is campaign account must be in the red, so this TV commercial is an easy way to keep his face and name out in the public (and probably paid for by AHL). I’ve never seen anything like this before and on the surface, doesn’t appear to be very ethical. Can’t wait to see what he’s will to do next as he moves onto the November runoff with Cortez.

I am going to donate a few bucks to San Luis Obispo attorney James McKiernan in hopes that 911 transcripts are more legally obtainable as opposed to the discretion of a NON elected official!

Go to and voice your concerns. Let’s see how responsive our city is.

Good Link hotdog. I’ll fill it out tomorrow when I’m in a better mood. I encourage everyone who cares about their community to follow the link that hotdog has provided. It doesn’t get any easier than this. SPEAK OUT.


Brian Pierik, the city attorney is one mean arrogant man. His style is not to negotiate unless he has absolutely no choice. I just hope a settlement isn’t made behind closed doors and the public is left out of the loop. If this is precedent setting it can’t be swept under the carpet as easily.

Sure wish I was a little bird and could listen to McKinney, Mulhall, and Pierik pow -wow on this one. Hey I am bird. See ya later.