SLO ad exec arrested for threatening an officer

July 13, 2011

Jeff Lind

Prosecutors in Santa Maria have filed a flurry of felony charges against a San Luis Obispo marketing executive for allegedly threatening a police officer, a charge partially refuted by video tape of the incident available on

Jeffery Lind, 55, was at the Santa Maria courthouse when he spoke with an officer who had arrested his son for driving under the influence, said Lind said the officer made his son take a breath alcohol test 25 times.

Both Lind and Guadalupe police officer Robert Ortega agree that the following exchange occurred:

LIND (walking toward Ortega): “Oh, you’re Ortega.”

ORTEGA: “Yes, I am.”

LIND: “You’re the officer who arrested my son. You’re here for court today?”

ORTEGA: “Oh. You’re Lind’s father.”

LIND:  “Yes. Thank you for arresting my son.” (In his report, Ortega asserted the comment was made “sarcastically.”)

At this point, Lind’s and Ortega’s versions of events differ sharply. Lind would later report in a sworn affidavit that Ortega then said, “Thanks? Really?” And Lind responded, “No, you made him blow (take a breath alcohol test) 25 times.”

Ortega claims he “became fearful” of Lind who he said began threatening him, jabbed his finger at him and yelled in his face.

According to Lind, he said, “Justice will prevail.”

According to Ortega, Lind said, “And you got something coming to you, too, pal.”

Ortega later reported that he “felt threatened by this as he was sitting down.” He said he “then advised (Lind), ‘You just made a threat to a police officer.’”

Footage from security cameras in the courtroom foyer appear to refute at least some of the allegations now being leveled by the officer and Santa Barbara County district attorney’s deputies.

Lind has been charged with resisting arrest; conspiracy; dissuading a witness; attempting, but failing, to commit a crime; and attempting to file a false or forged statement. He’s free on $200,000 bail.

Find the complete article by Daniel Blackburn and the video tape at

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Lind is spouting utter tommyrot. Of the two, the father’s body language seems the most threatening. The officer never puts his hand on his gun, and as far as his reaching for his handcuffs, you can plainly see he was simply tucking in his shirt. Oh, and what’s the deal with the “hand gesture” at 0:49? Is he flipping the officer the bird? Lind is an idiot for approaching the officer in the first place.

No. It should never be a bad idea to approach a public officer about anything. Practically cops often flip out if a citizen approaches or asks them anything, too goddamn bad. We are entering (or have long been one) a police state whereby simply asking something can get one in trouble. This case is ridiculous and I hope the cop ends up in jail-along with the DA.

Hotdog could not resist a laugh, you write,”No. It should never be a bad idea to approach a public officer about anything.”

I counter with, unless they are currently involved in a gun battle, drug running, or any and all activities unbecoming to an officer.

This is a most ridiculous case, seems to be the trend in this county, bad kid, mad dad, and the cops can’t tell the truth! $200,000 bail= Very happy bail bonds man, cop is caught, it will be very interesting, (like the Arnold story), to see how this plays out, any bets on which one will receive probation?

hotdog, you are quite mistaken. A citizen should never speak to police officers. This is especially true if they approach you and say, “We’d like to ask you a few questions.” They might be investigating YOU! If you consent to this, then they don’t have to read your your Miranda Rights, so everything you say can be used against you in court whether they have read you your Miranda Rights or not! You will have needlessly incriminated yourself. They might be just an eyelash away from arresting you! Should they arrest you afterward, your words cannnot be used in your defense in court because they are hearsay! But they can and will be used against you because you consented to talk to the police and because the police report IS NOT hearsay; there is an exception to the hearsay rule for police officers and their reports because they are “trusted” public officials.

We really want our officers to be “unapproachable”??? How can they uphold the “protect and serve” part of their jobs if they cannot be spoken to?

The wise citizen does his talking only with his attorney or when absolutely required in court under oath. If he opens his mouth in any other scenario, he may very well live to regret it. The only dilemma that I see with this is 911 calls. Somebody has to speak up to initiate the process of reporting the crime. But, guess what? 911 callers are frequently regarded as suspects. They are certainly the first “persons of interest” in a surprising number of cases. That’s one reason why a lot of people “don’t want to get involved” when crime happens, and why many people refuse to identify themselves when they call 911. There is wisdom in the latter, too.

Anybody can feel free to speak to any officer, its just time or place approaching the arresting officer who is waiting to testify is not the time or the place to address and threaten him.

He was unwise to speak to the officer. One should NEVER speak to police officers, unless it is absolutely necessary. In that case, the words should be “no,” “I don’t know,” “I don’t consent to searches.”

Ugluk you get it you are a well informed person good for you.

After watching the video there are two conclusions.

1) Mr. Lind should have never approached any officer that is going to testify against his son.

2) Officer Ortega has clearly misrepresented the facts and has seriously jeopardized his integrity.

My personal experience in a similar situation.

At the age of twenty, 27 years ago I was pulled over speeding 57 in 45 zone. I pulled to the side of the road immediately and followed the deputies instructions over his loud speaker to drive forward and turn on a cross street and stop. I followed his instruction and obeyed his every command. Next thing I know he’s at my window and I am looking down the barrel of his .357. When he felt safe enough to realize that I was just a clean cut kid he holstered his gun. I admitted to speeding and expected the ticket. He gave me 3 violations. 1-Speeding of 57 in a 45, 2-Exceeding the maximum state speed limit of 55 (at the time) and 3-Unsafe speed for condition, citing it was a known dangerous road.

I went to court to plead guilty to speeding with the hopes of the judge dropping 2 of the three violations. As I arrived at the court house and entered the elevator the deputy was the only other one in the elevator. I said hello to him, and he replied the same, no other words were spoken. The DA approached me while waiting the judge and offered me a deal to plead guilty and the other 2 charges would be dropped. Then the deputy spoke up irritated and told the DA that he encountered me in the elevator and that I said to him “shit you’re here I was hoping you were on your day off and would not show up and the judge would dismiss the tickets” and that he replied “no such luck” and that I then told him I was “going to file a false citizens complaint to get even with you”. At that point the DA revoked the deal and the deputy stood there with his stupid grin on his face as court was called to order.

The deputy was called first and he told the judge the same lie he had just told the DA. When it was my turn to speak I told the judge that I admitted to speeding and came to court to plead guilty in the hopes he would dismiss the other 2 tickets and that I know it is the deputies word against mine and please believe me that all I said to him was hello. In the end the judge stated that the other 2 tickets were unnecessary and dismissed them.

As I left the courtroom I was approached by a attorney who was representing several clients who had similar encounters with this same deputy all of who were pulled over in the same area at gun point and received numerous traffic violations all at the same time. I did not testify in court about my encounter but I was interviewed 3 separate times by the county counsel, a Sargent and a Lieutenant regarding my experience with this deputy. The Lieutenant called me several weeks later and offered to mentor me through the hiring process if I was interested in becoming a deputy and advised me that the deputy had been removed from patrol and was undergoing retraining to resolve his issues. I thanked the Lieutenant and politely turned him down.

LE has a lot of power, too much power, and the wrong types are hired.Look what happened to Senator Larry Craig as an example.

Larry Craig is a homosexual caught in the act pure and simple.

Nothing wrong with homosexuality. Nothing at all.

He was caught, Willie.

Read up.

Pasty faced hypocrite, only the evil repos commit crimes and stay on. The dems, when caught in only embarrassing improprieties, have to quit.

Bob, very interesting. What you have said is classic as to why citizens should never speak to police officers. When going to court, it is also a good idea to have a witness, a friend, somebody, go with you. The police hold all the cards. Your words in the presence of a police officer CANNOT be used in your defense in court because it is hearsay! But the information which the police take down in their report CAN and WILL be used against you (if it comes to that). Police and their testimony and reports have an exception to the hearsay rule in court, and thus are admissible. It’s also legal for the police to lie to you about what or why they are investigating when they talk to you. So, why talk to the police? It can’t help you, but it sure can hurt you! DON’T DO IT!

The video’s worthless. I’m sure both sides will ease up some by the time any of this gets prosecuted.

The body language of both parties is pretty laid back, really. Mr. Lind walks on the balls of his feet, does not lean into the officer. If 25 tests were given, this officer needs to, if anything, stop spending the taxpayer’s money on stupid intimidation tactics.

Each time somebody blows does not cost more money and is all one charge, so get your story straight you dont know what you are talking about.

25 times? You go blow 25 times and see how you like it!

I see this a little differently that the rest of you. First off, we’re not privy to how Mr. Lind reacted when he was arrested (resisting?). Did Officer Ortega make his kid “blow” 25 times? If so, why? Mr. Lind’s body language, as well as his aggresive approaches to Ortega shows his agitation. I see no agitation in Ortega’s body language. When Lind claims Orgeta is reaching for handcuffs with his hands behind his back, I see Ortega tucking his shirt down. As Lind paces, Ortega removes himself from the scene, perhaps from fear of possible threats that were not audible or to ease the situation. Btw, several people, especially the wheelchair pusher and occupant, should have been witness to the verbal confrontation.

I don’t see agitation at all from either of them. I did notice that the officer seemed to change demeanor when other people passed between them in the hall. Not that that means anything.

My guess is the cop got his feelings hurt and wanted to show Lind who the rooster in this hen house was, judging from the “charges” against Lind.

I would have this case moved out of the area and tried.

Something stinks, and it usually is the police force, but I live in SLO, so a little “anti-badcop-itis” is somewhat common.

While we obviously can’t hear the audio, that doesn’t look like threatening body language to me and I don’t see anything to prove the officer’s allegations.

Now, the officer’s hand on his weapon… that would feel pretty threatening to me.

i watched the video. If Ortega felt threatened by that he must be the biggest Wuss west of Reno. He is probably gonna claim physical and mental abuse and go out on disability.

I’m sure the department can find a desk and pile of papers for him to shuffle until he’s eligible for retirement.

Yeah, he wouldn’t have to shuffle papers too long, depends how far away from that ripe-old age of 50… (or 49, in Deb’s case).

I am not a law enforcement basher, but this episode is laughable at best. Mr. Lind is fortunate that this episode was recorded by the camera; otherwise he would be up creek!

By the way, how do you defend against this charge “attempting, but failing, to commit a crime”?

I hope the DA exercises good judgment here.

slocorruptionhater – This is exactly the point. The local Central Coast Police Departments have gotten away with this type of behavior until now because there were no cameras around.

It is ironic that having so many cameras around today has aided the police in capturing many law breakers that would have gotten away, but is also now exposing law enforcement’s own bullying illegal behavior.

Not true Ortega walked away so where is the bullying, looks like Lind is still upset pacing around looks like he was the aggressor.

Thanks for all of your insight. It all makes sense to me. I’m glad the court threw the book at him if he behaved badly in court. I thought people knew better. It’s a lose-lose to act that way in front of a judge and there are way better ways to handle what he perceived as an unfair verdict. It appears to me that Ortega was justified and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Fairly, I’d guess.

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