Couple caught in SLO chief’s gun fiasco granted visitation

August 16, 2019

Cheyne Orndoff, Princess, and Vanessa Bedroni reunited a few days earlier.


The couple swept up in the search for the gun that San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell lost in a restaurant bathroom is being allowed to see their children again. [Cal Coast Times]

Cheyne Orndoff and Vanessa Bedroni shared a birthday cake with their 8- and 9-year-old daughters after the ruling by Judge Timothy Covello allowed them contact with the children.

Orndorf and Bedroni’s children were taken from them after police failed to find the chief’s gun during a warrantless search of their home. Failing to find the gun, police then reported the couple to Child Protective Services because they found the couple’s home dirty. They were arrested on charges of child neglect.

The children were taken from the home and the couple was subject to an order denying them the right to phone or see their two daughters. A Tuesday hearing in Covello’s chambers involving the prosecution and defense attorneys resulted in the modification to the protective order.

Chief Deanna Cantrell

The family’s ordeal began on July 10 when Chief Cantrell left her Glock 42 pistol on the toilet paper holder in the bathroom of an El Pollo Loco restaurant. The gun is banned for sale to the public in California because it has been deemed unsafe because it has no external safety and has what is known as a short trigger pull. The Glock has been blamed in a number of deaths including that of a Florida police officer.

A surveillance video showed a clean-shaven man entering the bathroom after Chief Cantrell left. A Morro Bay officer saw the video and said the man shown was Orndoff. However Orndoff has a full beard and mustache.

Police descended on Orndoff’s home, and asked his permission to search his house even though several officers noted he looked nothing like the suspect, Orndoff said.

Orndoff said no, saying that he was not at the restaurant and he did not take the chief’s gun. Detectives Jason Dickle and Suzie Walsh declared because he was on probation they did not need a warrant for a search, Orndoff said. The police then searched the house but failed to find the gun.

Ordoff was not on probation.

His brother, Cole Orndoff, had stolen Cheyne Orndoff’s identity and passed himself off as Cheyne as he committed crimes. In 2017, officers arrested Cole Orndoff for drug related offenses and for impersonating his brother Cheyne Orndoff.

A few months later, Cole Orndoff pleaded no contest to five misdemeanors charges including a count of impersonation. Judge Craig van Rooyen sentenced Cole Orndoff to time served and three years informal probation, according to court records.

In logging the probation of Cole Orndoff into the county criminal justice information system, it appears that either an employee of the superior court or of the district attorney’s office wrongly listed Cheyne Orndoff as the defendant and not the victim.

After SLO police officers raided the couple’s home, they put their daughters, then 7 and 9, in foster care, and arrested them for child neglect because of a dirty house.

Last weekend, the couple was reunited with Princess, the family’s dog. Princess was seized and put in the pound when the couple was arrested and their children taken.

Since Orndoff was mistakenly entered into the county criminal justice information system, a string of errors and violations of his and Bedroni’s rights have occurred.

During the arrest, Orndoff said he was not read his Miranda Rights.

In California, arrestees are required to be arraigned within three days. Even though Orndoff and Bedroni were arrested on July 10, they were kept in jail until their arraignment on July 15.

Because the search on their home was conducted without a warrant and the fact that the man suspected of taking the gun was clean-shaven while Orndoff was bearded, it is likely the couple’s attorneys will argue that anything found in the home, including photos police took inside the house, were obtained illegally, and as such would not be admissible under the exclusionary rule.

In an attempt to raise money to make repairs at their home and to help cover legal expenses, the couple posted a plea for assistance on GoFundMe.

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The Chief is “tough enough” to destroy a family in order to keep her legacy intact…..whatever that might be. We’re still waiting to hear why the naked woman found in her(sons) car was arrested, etc.

The point is, we want a powerful chief who isn’t afraid to use a little muscle and Cantrell is certainly that chief! Who else would have taken the bold action to harrass, and violate the rights of a completely unrelated family who had nothing to do with the Toilet Paper Safe crack/theft of gun?

We don’t want a chief who acts like a pansy/wuuusss when it comes to police work. We hate the Constitution and the limitations it places on government! It’s obvious that Chief Cantrell also hates the Constitution….so she’s our chief! Yay! Search those bastards! Take those kids. Next time, shoot the dog.

The Orndoff’s aren’t important. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, which would not have been the case if the house wasn’t so messy. They certainly deserve far worse than they got……telling Dickel they didn’t have the chief’s gun….LIARS! They had it all along……

The point is we’ve got to stand with the people of all gender in Blue!

***certain facts may have been mis-stated above. Certain opinions may have been erroneously allocated to SLO citizens in the above posting. I am not a Constitutional scholar.

I wonder if landlords can use law enforcement to justify keeping the cleaning deposit?

Chief Cantrell has to go!

Chief? please step down gracefully, please do the right thing.

SLOPD and the DA are going to keep up the pressure and hold the children hostage from Orndoff and Bedroni to negotiate a deal that holds SLOPD harmless. I’d advise them to lawyer-up and push back with a multi-million dollar suit for abuse of authority and the trauma to the family. Hopefully there is a line of lawyers at their door. All because a “police officer” can’t be trusted with a firearm.

Fire Deanna Cantrell, hire a real police chief.

Again, why is the chief carrying a gun in the first place? She’s a bureaucrat, not out on the shoot-out front lines. City of SLO, please explain to us morons why the chief took a gun to a restaurant! And why she has a gun anyplace other than maybe in her desk drawer! Everybody’s focused on her stupidity, but what about the underlying city practices that enabled her stupidity?

Chief Cantrell is a sworn Peace Officer under Section 832 of the California Penal Code. As such, she has the authority, indeed the responsibility to carry a firearm on and off duty, regardless of her “administrative” responsibilities. From a leadership perspective, I would be hesitant to work for the head of a law enforcement agency who had never done the work of the officers he/she leads.

Please consider this, let’s consider a different scenario. Had a police chief been in a public setting, i.e. restaurant, and an armed robbery taken place, and the chief NOT taken action, he/she would have been the object of public scorn and criticism, with critics asking the reasonable question, “Why didn’t the police chief do something?”

City police departments should not be compared to other city departments, i.e. planning, parks and recreation, finance. Police officers have immense powers including the authority to use force up to and including lethal force. Personally, I prefer a police chief who assumes the same responsibilities of the officers she leads, versus a “bureaucrat” with no experience actually doing the job of the street cop.

Gary Joralemon

I fully agree with the above.

Our Chief of police has the responsibility to properly lead a potentialy lethal force. The chief needs to model best practices at all times. If an officer does not follow these practices, which include public safety, proper law enforcement, personal safety, keeping the peace and I’m sure, other best practices that when not followed, result in disciplinary action, sometimes resulting in termination, depending on the severity.

Consideration of how severe the punishment. would be taking into account, public safety, and any harm to others resulting from it.

So, I think any other officer leaving their gun in a restaurant, would in my mind, have received the ultimate punishment, because that officer would now be a liability to the department, if it happened again and something bad happened, can anyone imagine those news headlines. If the chief makes another mistake of getting her gun stolen from where she forgot it or anything along those lines, what then? not to mention all of the people that have been affected by her negligence..

Thank you