SLO firefighter accused of threatening to shoot minorities

July 30, 2019

Richard Vincent Orcutt

The San Luis Obispo man charged with hate crimes for allegedly threatening to shoot minorities moving into his neighborhood is a retired SLO city firefighter. [Cal Coast Times]

Richard Orcutt, 62, worked for the San Luis Obispo Fire Department for more than 30 years. In 2018, he received a pension of $93,922, according to the Transparent California database.

On Monday, Orcutt pleaded not guilty in San Luis Obispo Superior Court to 10 felony charges related to hate crimes, making criminal threats and unlawful possession of an assault weapon. If convicted, Orcutt faces up to 14 years in prison, according to the SLO County District Attorney’s Office.

Orcutt allegedly sent threatening letters on Hallmark cards to property management companies, property owners and possibly renters of homes on his street. The Hallmark cards displayed an American flag and contained no return address or name, San Luis Obispo police said.

Late last month, detectives served a search warrant at Orcutt’s home in the 1300 block of Cavalier Lane and found handguns, rifles, shotguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition, police said.

Authorities seized a total of 37 firearms, including an assault weapon, according to the district attorney’s office.

Orcutt’s attorney, Guy Galambos, released a statement Monday saying there is no evidence his client created or sent the threatening cards.

Officers arrested Orcutt following the search of his home and booked him into the San Luis Obispo County Jail. Orcutt is currently out of custody having posted $500,000 bail.


First, this guy is getting a $93,922 pension per year? Is this every year until he dies??? If so, I have a huge problem with that. Aren’t they public servants and they are making that kind of money in retirement?

Second, I thought it was legal to own fire arms in the United States of Israel? I know California has problems allowing us citizens our rights with all those snowflakes in charge in Sacramento.


With pleasure and pride I support CalCoastNews with a monthly “donation.”

What qualifies as an “assault weapon”? Do you mean a fully-automatic firearm? I am no expert in guns, but I know the difference between semi-autos (which have been around for 135 years or so), and a full auto. I believe there was even a movement in Ca by newcomers to classify lever action rifles, in use in America since the 1860s, as “assault weapons.”

Whether I use a shotgun or a hammer for home defense, it’s a defense weapon, right? If I use either one to invade my neighbor’s yard and aggressively resolve a bad situation, it’s an assault weapon. That’s how it is without further clarification.

As for ammunition counts … one small box of ammo may hold 50 rounds. Ten little boxes equals 500 rounds, and to people familiar with firearms, 500 rounds sounds so-so. But to people who have never even seen, let alone handled or fired, a handgun or long gun, revolver or semi auto, etc., it sounds like “500 cans of mushrooms in the pantry, that’s nuts!”

Keep up the good work.


Why sure, a shotgun and a hammer are equal.

You ever listen to yourself?


Mercut, maybe you can help me then since you so clearly see that I am apparently too much of a moron to know — regarding assault weapons, what is the difference between a hammer, a shotgun, a rifle, a revolver and a semi-auto — is one, and which one is it, an assault weapon, and why is IT the assault weapon and not the others?


Every time “assault weapon” comes up someone wants to circularly debate it over and over.

Calguns forums are that way >>>>>


Point taken. With respect, however, the question in the original comment was directed to Cal Coast News, and it is a reasonable one. What qualifies as an “assault weapon” legal or illegal? Did the guy have a fully-automatic weapon in his collection without a special permit? That is worth knowing.

If the term “assault weapon” is used by the district attorney, as the story reports, then it is instructive to know exactly what that is, and if it is law, it shouldn’t be a matter of debate on a forum, but something law-abiding citizens can understand. Thanks!


Read the article “and unlawful possession of an assault weapon” He is charged with unlawful possession of an assault weapon. It’s the DA, we don’t charge people and we wont know what he had until the trial.

“Authorities seized a total of 37 firearms, including an assault weapon, according to the district attorney’s office.” This is just like when someone is arrested, we don’t know what city they are from unless the SO/PD include that in a release, charges or it comes up in court. If we were a gun publication ? However we are not, so on to the next tip…..


Thank you for your kind reply!


Certainly not a moron. Sorry, for the snarky comment. Just saying that to compare a hammer and a shotgun as weapons seems a bit ridiculous.

And, I’m sure that if you ask LE they will have a ready definition of an assault weapon.

Francesca Bolognini

I just have to laugh. Guys on this thread, same ones who claim to be “tough on crime”, are making light of an over large collection of firearms, INCLUDING AN ILLEGAL FIREARM and stating this does not prove him guilty of that charge! Wow.

Then there is the issue of the threats. Hmm. It seems highly unlikely to me that even SLO County would hall this (former firefighter) guy’s ass in on charges without sufficient proof. They are not required to divulge this information for the purpose of an article in Cal Coast News. Oh, maybe you didn’t know that…..

I have to laugh again over how cavalier your attitude is when the threats are made to “minorities”. Let me guess….. you’re white!!! I can only imagine how ya’ll would react if this were a person of color owning all those weapons and making threats to you. Seriously, it is beyond obvious your concerns were never about “the law”, but your own perceived supremacy. Probably looking to pin a medal on this moron.

So, heh, heh, heh. Please.Load this comment with disapprovals to show I’m right!


No what I said was the guns don’t make him guilty of hate crimes.

Absolutely enforce guns laws – please. Who knows maybe the chief of police has another lost gun in the stash.


In California a slingshot is a WMD pretty much, so having NO information regarding what this “automatic weapon” is, is basically fake news. So what if he has a gun collection, plenty of folks do. There are many guns that are very valuable and collectible, and collecting them or hanging on to them is a better investment than the stock market or mutual funds etc. Just cause the dude has guns doesn’t make him guilty of anything,that’s like me saying your guilty of speeding because your cars speedometer goes up to 120 or so and that means you surely must break the law because of what the speedo says…well …unless its a Prius. Far as the threats, I wont touch that one. .


Just having guns doesn’t make him guilty. I don’t see any evidence he wrote and mailed the letters. Has something been left out of the article? Do I need a decoder ring?


Once again, media and the unhinged vilifying a gun collection and possession of ammunition. Big deal! Innocent till proven guilty, not the other way around. If he’s proven guilty, then prosecute and sentence accordingly.


No, it’s about Racism and Death threats to minorities, or Human Beings; women, children innocent. The fact that you mulled over the significance of this shows your perspective on Racism, are you Racisct, evidence might be so, and your name as sideshow is pretty scary, do you want to kill children like the Simpsons? No one is taking guns away, chill out. But racism needs and has to end, no mercy for hate, any kind, unless to save innocent lives. And he IS guilty, it states evidence above. This guy needs his Pension revoked, and throw his ass into ASH.


Define racism please.


I answered under Kevins comment.


Sorry, but you did not define racism.

Kevin Rice

oldtimer, it may be news to you that racism is not a crime. Threats are. If you believe skin color makes a difference, then you are racist.


Yes Racism is illegal in circumstance, like yelling fire in a movie theater, it is constituted as a hate crime. Your defending racism. Freedom of speech has limitations based on tonality and intention, and decent Judges whom hold idiots accountable. And you being a public servant Kevin with a pension; firefighter draws Biased perspective. You shouldn’t be posting on this subject.


Kevin is correct. Racism is every bit as legal as stupidity, as a few old and cut commenters here prove regularly. ILLEGAL are assault, fraud, kidnapping, theft, breaking of contract, murder, vandalism, etc….

… all ILLEGAL whether you OR the person you assault, cheat, murder, kidnap, or rob, is black, white, yellow, red, brown, or polkadot.


I see you did not read what I wrote about yelling fire in a theater. It’s context.


Wow!!! Kevin Rice is up-front about who he is, and nearly everything you write goes opposite of the kind of philosophy I have found to be typical of what I’d call oldtimers, native-born locals going back as much as seven generations or more, who grew up here in agricultural prime-producing working class families, as I did. And YOU, safe in your anonymity, presume to declare whether or not Kevin should be posting on this subject???????

I am glad you post here, oldtimer, but I am also VERY glad that Kevin posts here. It has been a real eye-opener to see how the term “beauty is only skin deep” can apply to a community as well as a person.


“If you believe skin color makes a difference, then you are racist.” Incorrect. Look up the definition.


Well damn. Mr. Orcutt did himself a real disservice by NOT having committed these offenses while he was still an active Firefighter. If he was still employed by the Socialist Republic of San Luis Obispo when all this came down, I’m sure he would have received maybe one misdemeanor charge, a one day suspension without pay, and would be required to make a half-ass apology to his victims (then be able to call himself “dignified” for having done so). Heck, he might have even received a raise after the whole thing was over, which would have increased his pension. Yep, he really screwed himself by doing all this after retirement. Now he’s treated by the local government like all the rest of us commoners.


What does Socialism have to do with both side political corruption in slo? I’ll take your Social Security payment if you don’t want it. The guy is a Racist, who cares what party he or Slo county crooks are. What would matter is if he has a Religious identity, and his Pension.


Social Security is not Socialism. You are forced to pay into Social Security.


A “public safety officer” threatening the public safety? Take his pension and lock his frickin’ butt up!

Kevin Rice

It doesn’t work that way. His pension belongs to him.


He has to follow a code of conduct to earn it as a public servant, I Feel, if he violates that, he should loose it. This act this psycho did isn’t just a traffic stop. And Kevin, you have a pension and sometimes a flamboyant mouth, I looked into your pay online; you being a Fire Fighter. You seemed to have made alot too. Any comment you make here is Biased dude.