Kelly Gearhart accused of assault
November 7, 2011
By DANIEL BLACKBURN
No arrests were made or charges filed in connection with a July disturbance with injuries at the Ohio home of former Atascadero man-of-the-year Kelly Gearhart.
Terry Locklear, 55, said he is still recovering from the altercation where he contends Gearhart pushed him from an elevated porch at the former developer’s current home in Wadsworth.
Three neighbors saw the altercation, Gearhart, Gearhart’s son, and Locklear who sustained injuries to his neck and back. Because of conflicting stories, no one was arrested.
Locklear said he had gone to Gearhart’s home to discuss a deposit he had paid the financially compromised former North County developer.
“I only went over there because he wouldn’t return my phone calls,” Locklear said. “I knocked on the door, and he (Gearhart) opened it, just a crack.
Locklear was renting an apartment in a building then owned by Gearhart. When Locklear heard about a bankruptcy action involving Gearhart and the rental property, he said he went to Gearhart’s home to ask about his security deposit.
“I told him what I needed to know, and then he suddenly swung the door open and knocked me off the porch backwards.”
The porch, about five feet high, had no railing, Locklear said. He fell backwards, injuring his neck and back.
Locklear said he filed a police report, but was told by an officer not to “expect anything to happen,” as it was his word against the Gearharts who both claimed he fell from the porch. He said he injuries caused him severe distress that lasted more than six weeks.
An attorney retained by Gearhart on several financial transactions, Joseph Dickinson, said he did not represent Gearhart on the Locklear matter, but noted, “I know there was some kind of incident.
“If you know Kelly’s house… there’s no railing on the front porch. From what I was told, this guy showed up ranting, and when Kelly opened the door, the guy backed up and fell off the porch backwards.
“Kelly filed a police report, because he said this guy was threatening him, but I don’t think anything ever came of it. It’s kind of a he-said, he-said thing.”
Gearhart did not respond to a request for comment relayed to him through his attorney.
Gearhart and his wife Tamara Lowe filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on Feb. 11, 2009, in Ohio, claiming $6.5 million in estimated assets and $45.1 million in estimated debts. The couple moved from Atascadero to Wadsworth in 2008 following threats of physical violence by an angry investor.
For approximately four years, FBI agents and employees of the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office have investigated allegations that Gearhart and his financier Jay Miller swindled some 1,200 investors out of more than $100 million in a lending scheme involving hard money.
The U.S. attorney Los Angeles office filed federal fraud and money laundering charges against Miller in August alleging that Miller bilked investors in Central Coast real estate projects he financed for Gearhart.