Sheriff’s deputies dump homeless man in Gorda?

February 28, 2011

Jai Kamke


Store clerks watched as San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies rolled into the remote Highway 1 community of Gorda, located on the southern border of Monterey County, to drop off a homeless man in front of the Gorda Store last week. [CarmelPineCone]

Jai Kamke, 33, was left by the deputies after dark last Tuesday, Feb. 22, even though witnesses say there are no homeless facilities to take refuge from  the cold weather in the remote town of 12 residents.

Instead, Kamke brandished a knife, exposed himself, and threatened to kill a store employee shortly after the deputies dropped him off.

“The manager saw them drop him off, and from the looks of the guy, the manager was concerned about him causing issues,” said Monterey County Sheriff Cmdr. Tracy Brown to the Pine Cone.

After being asked to leave, Kamke, 33, “came back with a knife and threatened to kill the manager,” Brown added. “And then the suspect pulled down his pants.”

The employee called 911 at 7 p.m., but the nearest Monterey County Sheriff deputy was more than 60 miles away.

However, the San Luis Obispo County deputies who had dropped Kamke off heard the call, turned back around and had Kamke in handcuffs when Monterey County deputies arrived.

Brown said that San Luis Obispo County deputies claimed they discovered Kamki near Hearst Castle and that he allegedly told them he was headed north. They also contend Kamke was not drunk when they dropped him off.

Nevertheless, workers at the local store and gas station said that they did not sell Kamke alcohol on Tuesday.

Deputies arrested Kamke and booked him into Monterey County Jail on a felony charge of making terrorist threats and misdemeanor charges of trespassing, indecent exposure, brandishing a weapon and public drunkenness.



  1. ApathyWillKillYou says:

    We should DEMAND a statement from our new sheriff PARKINSON to see if ‘taxi rides’ (paid for by the citizens of SLO county by the way) to other counties is part of his policy or two SLO deputies that have just not yet got on board with their new boss.

    (7) 13 Total Votes - 10 up - 3 down
  2. winedude says:

    I have lived in both Monterey and SLO Counties. From my observations of the sheriff’s department in each county, the deputies are mostly pigs. The SLO deputies thought it was a good idea to haul this guy to Gorda? Why? Who in their right mind is going to ask a sheriff’s deputy for a ride? It’s 31 miles from Hearst Castle to Gorda. Not likely the sheriff’s deputies were going to drive that far with good intentions.

    (-3) 15 Total Votes - 6 up - 9 down
    • justme says:

      Pigs? Oh, OK, so the next time you are in danger or in trouble call your plumber. People wo hate cops are the same people who got caught by them pulling crap sometime in their past.

      (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
  3. bobfromsanluis says:

    Maybe the Sheriff Deputies thought that the man was “out of his Gourd”(a) and they were simply trying to get him back into his “Gourd(a)”. Sorry.

    (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
  4. danika says:

    Maybe the SLO SD has a quota? I read this today in the LA Times and thought, hmmmm:,0,6576493.story

    (0) 6 Total Votes - 3 up - 3 down
  5. racket says:

    Could be he had a camp/home in the bushes near Gorda, which is where he got the booze and knife. This is absolutely speculation on my part, much like the speculation that the cops were somehow acting nefariously or heartlessly. Let’s wait for more details before passing judgement.

    (15) 15 Total Votes - 15 up - 0 down
  6. CA Native says:

    When did SLO County Sherriff’s Dept become a taxicab service? And even if it was a gesture of courtesy, why was the deputie’s ‘judgement’ so far off the mark that they couldn’t recognize a imminent felony? The ‘story’ doesn’t pass the smell test.

    (3) 19 Total Votes - 11 up - 8 down
    • Mythbuster says:

      Let’s hope as more information becomes available the follow-up will be published here.

      (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  7. Paperboys says:

    To Mr. Holly, here’s what I would have done.
    I would have driven the guy to Sunny Acres and asked them to take him in. I wouldn’t have cared one bit about the county code enforcement BS that DuVaul’s been fighting. People are more important.
    Failing there, I would have taken the man to Roandoak in Morro Bay, to County Mental Health or the County Jail. But then again, I’m not heartless like these pigs at the Sheriff’s Department.
    What I would NOT have done is leave a mentally unstable man in a place like Gorda, where the nearest police help is an hour’s drive away. And no, I doubt very seriously that this guy ASKED to be taken to Gorda and they just gave him a lift, because deputies and cops don’t do that.
    I hope those people in Gorda sue the sheriff’s office for placing their lives in danger. I hope this homeless guy sues the sheriff’s office for cruel and unusual punishment, which is what I would call banishment from somewhere without legal justifications.
    I’m sure the deputies probably thought they were playing a joke on the Monterey County deputies but they truly dodged a bullet that this guy didn’t kill someone.
    These deputies should, no they MUST, be punished, otherwise Parkinson’s tenure will start off just as bad as Pat Hedges’ did (remember the people who got run over walking to town from jail in the middle of the night?)

    (7) 45 Total Votes - 26 up - 19 down
    • Mr. Holly says:

      This is getting interesting. As a former law enforcement person it is easy for everyone to criticize every move you make. Yes police officers do have a heart, maybe more so than the average person since they see the bottom of the pit everyday. Under the circumstance I can imagine that the officers observed this man and stopped to see what he was doing. His response was he was going north to which the officers agreed to give him a ride as that was their beat they were patrolling. Once at Gorda, where there evidently is civilization they dropped the man off to go on his way. What may have happened from that time to when the man performed his antics no one will probably know.
      What I’m getting at is not to unload on the officer’s, or the new Sheriff and his department, who in fact were probably trying to help the guy but to bring to attention to all of us the need to provide assistance to these people. Human Services are the people that we all should be addressing this problem to along with the Board of Supervisors, not the beat cop.

      (25) 33 Total Votes - 29 up - 4 down
      • kellygirl says:

        But the county line ends right around Ragged Point. These officers had nothing better to do than drive a homeless man to Gorda? That makes no sense. They were dumping him off, trying to get rid of him.

        (-1) 25 Total Votes - 12 up - 13 down
      • Cindy says:

        “Once at Gorda, where there evidently is civilization”.

        I could buy that story hook, line and sinker except there is no civilization in Gorda. There is one store and a gas station also there is a 4 room motel and that’s it. Only 12 people live there and they work at the store, the gas station or the motel. That’s it.

        It’s the last place to drop a homeless person and especially with this weather.

        (9) 11 Total Votes - 10 up - 1 down
    • Mythbuster says:

      Was the homeless guy irrational on the drive up? He had a knife on his person in the police car? Did he claim to know someone in Gorda? Here we are again, making proclamations on many topics without having the whole story.

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
    • Cindy says:

      Considering that the deputies are trained to spot a person who has been drinking, they will have the benefit of the doubt when claiming that he wasn’t intoxicated when they dropped him off. It is possible that he had a pint in his coat and drank it after he was dropped off so that isn’t going to be an issue for them, although I seriously doubt that he was sober when he arrived.

      As for his state of mind, it’s quite possible that he is mentally stable when sober however being intoxicated, cold, hungry, penniless and frightened, he decided to purchase a ticket to jail, which shouldn’t surprise anybody. Desperate people do desperate things.

      I have no doubt that the deputies went back after him when they heard the call, they knew they had really screwed up and what if he hurt someone, at that point their butts were on the hook. The next problem was since they had dropped him out of their jurisdiction, they now, couldn’t arrest him, all they could do was go back and gain control until a deputy that did have jurisdiction made the one hour trek into Gorda. Talk about a waste of how much LE time?

      I’d really like to know what possessed these deputies do take this man to Gorda? I for one would be more than willing to turn a blind eye if Gorda was a location that could have offered this desperate man some benevolent assistance but that clearly isn’t the case. So why did they do it? If it was a joke, it was a mighty sick one. I really would like to hear the deputies side of the story. I’ve known LE to take privileges where their egos are concerned or to over react and cause undue harm where none was initially intended but I’ve never known them to be out right cruel with plenty of time to consider what they were doing.

      (2) 8 Total Votes - 5 up - 3 down
    • Paladin says:

      ” To Mr. Holly, here’s what I would have done” So why didn’t you?

      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down

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