Pismo Beach man with uncontrollable hunger takes plea deal

November 11, 2015
Michelle Christian with her son Tyler and her daughter.

Michelle Christian with her son Tyler and her daughter.

A 20-year-old Pismo Beach man with a rare genetic disease has pleaded no contest to five misdemeanor charges resulting from times he broke into homes to satisfy his uncontrollable hunger.

Tyler Jarvis has Prader-Willi Syndrome, which causes an insatiable desire to eat. In 2014, Jarvis entered two homes and stole food and personal belongings.

He also attempted unsuccessfully to enter a third residence. On one occasion, a startled homeowner chased him with a shovel, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

On Tuesday, Jarvis agreed to a plea deal that will likely keep him out of jail. He must enter a group home and complete a treatment program for people with Prader Willi in order to avoid serving jail time.

Jarvis’ sentence also includes three years of probation, and he must pay restitution to all three of his victims.

The break-ins took place on Sept. 26, 2014 and Nov. 18, 2014. For the September 2014 incidents, Jarvis pleaded no contest to trespass, petty theft and attempted trespass. He pleaded no contest to petty theft and aggravated trespass for the Nov 2014 incidents.

Prosecutors dismissed charges of residential burglary, attempted burglary and vandalism. Jarvis initially faced multiple felony counts for residential burglaries.

Following the plea deal, District Attorney Dan Dow issued a statement commending the agreement.

“We were very concerned with both the safety of the community from the crime of residential burglary as well as finding an appropriate resolution that takes into a account Mr. Jarvis’ genetic disorder that directly contributed to his criminal conduct,” Dow said. “This is an extremely rare fact pattern, and I am pleased that we were able to achieve an opportunity for Mr. Jarvis to enter a group home.”

Prior to the plea agreement, Michelle Christian, Jarvis’s mother, lobbied for prosecutors to drop the charges. Christian argued her son was not a criminal, and the district attorney’s office was wasting taxpayer money by prosecuting the case.

Jarvis is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 17 in the courtroom of Judge Michael Duffy.

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i love how dan dow does things for my safety…..does he think i am stupid. please incarcerate dan dow for trying to make me think he helps anybody but himself.

You all said it so well.

It is so frustrating to read this stuff anymore. They are trying to punish and treat something that is untreatable. This is supposed to make “society” feel better. I just wonder if our social servants understand the demographics of SLO County. Many of our residents are well educated. If we do not know something, we know how to find the information. We can understand the difference between a bank robber and someone missing a chromosome with the mental capacity of a 10 year old. But yes, let’s put the missing chromosome person in a group home to someone FORCE someone incapable of ever permanently understanding adult information…..adult information!!!!

Some things are simply too painful to read sometimes LOL.

The society of excuses and lack of personal responsibility marches on. Stole food for his uncontrollable hunger, but notice he also stole other personal items. Did you eat those too you fat lying pig.

Our society needs a major about face, and in a big hurry. Does an insatiable appetite for sex permit you to rape women? I guess that argument is next.

“fat lying pig”? Did you miss the fact that he is “developmentally disabled”. Go ahead and substitute your term for the developmentally disabled if it helps you better understand.

As I said. There is no treatment. Dan Dow mislead the public with that statement. If my son could be “treated” for this wouldn’t I have done that. Do you think I enjoy watching him suffer every day with feeling like he is straving to death. educate yourself before make comments

Unfortunately unless there is an “Incident” such as this, most would have no clue about the special circumstances Tyler has to deal with. I had never heard of this disorder until I saw his story on the news. The truth is the masses are @sses! There will always be someone to show ignorance, disagree and be overly harsh.

Thank God the courts will compensate for those with special needs. Tyler does not belong in jail! I can only imagine how strong you must be to content with his condition, the balance of his health vs his desires. Sounds like the group home is the perfect resolve, at least for now! Good things do come out of harsh circumstances. Blessings in disguise!

Stay strong Mom, there are those of us who support you and pray for you and yours!

dan dow lie to make us believe he does things for the public’s safety? this is just one greedy pos serving himself

Lawman 1 you don’t know what your talking about. He is missing part of the 15th chromosome jail doesn’t fix that. Look it up. Prader Willi Syndrome.

u cant teach a braindead pos who makes a living locking people up for a living anything. it is like the world took a dump and it fell between their ears.

Please educate yourselves and learn about PWS!



There is much that is incorrect in the media. There is no treatment. I would have sought it out years ago. I have been looking for a group home specific to his syndrome for 4 years. Prader Willi is so rare it was an almost impossible task to find one. He wants to go to the home. I want him to go to the home. He will stay for his life most likely. The charges did nothing but delay his move. My son would die in jail. They aren’t able to provide the help he needs. Which is almost an impossible task for me along with all the caregiving help I have. He will be safe, happy and healthy at the home. It will be great for him to be with other people that have the same disorder.

Hang in there Michelle. Remain a vigilant advocate for your son and over time you will change the hearts and minds of those who don’t understand, or don’t care.

Contact your local Regional center, your local politicians, county politicians, as well as your state and federal representatives…you can make this happen.

Parents and families with children with disabilities have struggled to overcome the misunderstanding, awareness, perception, hope and capabilities of these very special people.

Keep up the good fight.

This BLOWS ME away…in the case of theft or burglary you could claim that you suffer from kleptomaniac and only get treatment and probation…SLO County judges District attorneys are WORTHLESS…give the guy 6 moths behind bars and that hunger problem will be fixed…..

The man has the mind of a child.

In what world do you want to place developmentally disabled people in general population prisons?

lock up the lawmen who lock people up for a living. it is a perverse interest. the meek shall inheirit the earth….

“,,,,,enter a group home and complete a treatment program for people with Prader Willi in order to avoid serving jail time.” If there is a a treatment propgram for this illness, why hasn’t this been done before this.

This is a very confusing situation to the lay person but I have a concern if/when this young man, with a mental capacity of a 10 year old gets out and about, again breaks into someone’s home/business and someone stops an intruder with a gun or if this young man should turn on an elderly people and bring harm. I which him well, hope all stay safe, but am concerned for the safety of the public and well as Travis. A sad story for sure!