Victim sues former city councilman Ed Arnold for alleged beating

August 17, 2011

Ed Arnold

An Arroyo Grande city employee who was the alleged victim of a home burglary and physical beating by former city councilman Ed Arnold in 2009 is suing for bodily injuries and emotional distress. [The Tribune]

Arnold, who pleaded no contest to felony counts of residential burglary and possession of child pornography, was sentenced in July to nine months in jail.

San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Barry LaBarbera ordered Arnold, who currently resides in Oregon, to surrender himself on September 19.

The lawsuit, filed in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Friday, seeks compensation for battery, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress during a Dec. 15, 2009, burglary in which Arnold allegedly beat the victim with a club and threatened to kill her.

The victim, identified as Jane Doe, says she suffered cuts to her head and elbow, as well as caused her humiliation, mental anguish and emotional distress. She also claims that she was unable to work and is seeking payment for lost earnings, medical expenses and punitive damages.

Both Arnold and his wife had been having an affair with the victim and when matters turned sour Arnold blamed the woman for the breakup of his marriage.

Police arrested Arnold, and during a search of his Pismo Beach home in January, 2010, discovered video of an underage girl, a 16-year-old foreign exchange student, taking a shower. Police suspect Arnold used a hidden camera to film the teen and also found other pornographic images of what appeared to be underage girls.

In a plea bargain, Arnold pleaded no contest to two felonies and the district attorney dropped the charges for the alleged beating.






  1. oto says:

    This is a county-wide, county-condoned, county-perpetuated response to the male/female “power struggle.” In San Luis Obispo County, I have observed this year in and year out. Locally, more so than any other place I’ve lived, I notice that San Luis Obispo county government is embued with it.

    It is evident within the county’s boundaries, at the state and federal level as well. But at the higher levels of government, there is more published case precedent about harassment in the workplaceand the employer’s duty to post a notice about worker rights and remedies. There are well defined systems of laws in place, such as Federal Labor Laws and Federal Civil Rights Laws and commissions which implement those laws. This is also true at the California State level. These laws require schools and employers to ensure that workers and students are regularly educated as to their rights in the workplace, and the right to be free from harassment.

    But at the county level, I have noticed this overriding undercurrent of mysogyny in San Luis Obispo more than anywhere else I’ve lived. And, like any other business structure, the personalities and practices of “management” at the county government level, sets the tone and behavior of the workers who “populate the field.”

    Perhaps, this is the dark side of agrarian society, as well as a county in which 51% of the population works for government in some form or another. I got this statistic from the Dept. of Labor’s Web site many years ago, and I wonder if it does not hold true today. Does bureaucracy lead to mysogyny as well?

    Or perhaps the lack of water makes people loco….

    Both men and women who have not yet learned to live as equals, believe that women who step outside their traditional roles deserve to be “punished,” and physically harmed. They don’t understand that to be “equal” does not mean to be “identical.”

    On the contrary, “equality” means free to make your own choices, in what you want to do, what you want to try to do, what you want to learn or become, where you want to travel, and what you want to do when you get there.

    It means that you have the choice to be with whom you want to be. You get the freedom, you accept the responsibility, you acknowledge your liability. But the goal is to be a friend, a respected colleague, a teacher, a guide, and a helpmate rather than an object, an inferior, a punching-bag, an excuse for one’s own mistakes, an airhead, a victim, or one who plays the role.

    Alot of men view womens’ equal rights, not as women wanting equal pay for equal work, or simply wanting to be free to make their own choices, but as some kind of personal insult. And women are just as complicit in sharing this primitive, outdated point of view. I

    t is safe for a woman to blame the victim. She knows that she will receive the approbrium of the men in doing so, while maintaining that competitive edge of “superiority in numbers.” She remains on the “winning” side, (i.e., she may not have to worry about being physically beaten,) even though, she will never be able to achieve success alone, without a male prop.

    Women, too, get angry when they see another woman wanting to advance or step outside their traditional work roles, as being “uppity”. And God help them, if they engage in sexual politics, as the men have always done. At the most visceral level, perhaps sex is war to a man because he can never experience child birth. Some iconoclasts believe that the Christian concept of the Virgin Mary was really a male invention to compensate for the fact that he himself cannot bear children.

    The response of “non-liberated women” (in my opinion,) is to sabotage any attempt by a coworker at self-betterment, rather than doing the work to compete on an honest level.

    Some people have to destroy the competition to win. Others collaborate, testing each other in a way that is beneficial to both of them, as when they decide to share their knowledge in order to build upon it and advance forward.

    Cal Coast News provides the means by which to hash this out. The conversation is long overdue in this county, and once a person has a taste of independence, there is no amount of threat or intimidation that will shut us up.

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    • Cindy says:

      This is an interesting observation oto and I don’t necessarily disagree. I guess I’m wondering what this has to do with Arnold breaking into his “extraneous lovers” home and seriously injuring her because he lost the game and didn’t like the payout?

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  2. oto says:

    When news of this assault first hit the papers, it was made to sound so inocuous. But what really bothers me is the fact that the City Council of Arroyo Grande kept him on so long. I would be surprised to learn they ever asked him to step down. Four months after this assault, he’s still on the City Council!

    As for the “menage a trois,” I’m glad the ’60’s are over…There’s nothing more fatal than a jilted lover.

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  3. Cindy says:

    Arnold only was sentenced to 270 days in jail and the assault charge was dropped! What the heck is that? He clubbed a woman over the head, beat her and threatened to kill her after breaking into her home and the charge was dropped in a plea deal! He has to attend anger management and register as a sex offender so young woman will know that they can’t trust him to have access to any area’s where they would expect privacy. Sounds to me like he got away with the assault (attempted murder?) scott free . Heck, people get sent to anger management for throwing a hot dog at their spouse and I mean that literally, this guy clubs a woman senseless and get’s what???????????

    As for his victim, I have to chuckle when she say’s he caused her humiliation! HUH? I should think she did a great job of doing that to herself. I guess she figures that if he didn’t attack her, we wouldn’t all have found out that she was doing to two of them. Apart from the children, I don’t feel sorry for any of them.

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