SLO County charges Tianna Arata with 13 misdemeanors

September 2, 2020

Tianna Isis Arata Wentworth and Elias Bautista

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that it filed 13 misdemeanor charges against Black Lives Matter organizer Tianna Arata, 20, and one felony charge and two misdemeanor charges against protester Elias Bautista, 22. Both defendants are scheduled for arraignment on Thursday morning.

Arata is charged with one count of unlawful assembly, one count of disturbing the peace, six counts of obstruction of a thoroughfare, and five counts of false imprisonment. The SLO Police Department had recommended five felony charges and three misdemeanor charges against Arata.

On July 21, Arata allegedly led approximately 300 protesters onto Highway 101 from both Osos Street and California Boulevard, blocking all lanes in both directions for nearly an hour. While on the highway, protesters ran after vehicles attempting to drive off the freeway, blocked vehicles, and yelled profanities at some of the drivers, according to videos of the protest.

In one incident, a protester threw a skateboard at the back window of a car. The window shattered, with the pieces landing on a 4-year-old boy, who was unharmed. Protesters claim the driver had hit a protester.

During Arata’s arrest, Bautista yelled at an officer before kicking him in the crotch. Prosecutors charged Bautista with one felony count of resisting an executive officer by force or violence and two misdemeanor counts of resisting, obstructing, or delaying a peace officer for his acts committed against three individual peace officers.

Arata contends she was arrested because she is black, and that the July 21 protest was peaceful. District Attorney Dan Dow does not agree.

“The filing of these charges is solidly based on the duty of the District Attorney to hold individuals accountable for their actions when their conduct exceeds the bounds of the law,”  Dow said. “Ms. Arata Wentworth and Mr. Bautista’s conduct in this instance was not peaceful, but instead it violated the law by depriving other individuals in our community of their right to enjoy liberty.”

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Her mother compared her to Martin Luther King and John Lewis. If she had any of their character, she would be demanding her day in court, to defend her rights and fight the charges.

Instead she has her friends organize a protest that demands she not even be charged; then they try to deliver a 500,000 signature petition signed by literally anyone in the world, and are upset when the DA doesn’t accept it.

They chant they want justice, but when justice comes calling, they want no part of it. Justice is a 2-way street that sometimes bites you on the ass.

If this woman were indeed a civil rights icon-in-training, she wouldn’t be doing everything possible to avoid even going to court. After all, MLK wrote one of the defining treatises of the civil rights movement while sitting in the Birmingham Jail.

He took his punishment and exposed the injustice of it all from behind bars, and did it more effectively than 1,000 BLMers marching in the street and blocking traffic on the highway ever could.

She should stand trial, hell, the way this county is, she’ll get at the least a hung jury, maybe even acquittal.

Think of the triumph she could bask in walking out of the courthouse, arms in the air, screaming “Not Guilty!”

Or the power of a jailhouse interview if she gets convicted. I fear this generation of rebels has been mislead by their college professors, going to jail in furtherance of your cause, is heroic.

Demanding you not even be charged, is cowardly.

I’m really hoping Dow does not plea this out. To do so would be a disservice to the community and to justice.

Perhaps wishful thinking on my part.

Sadly, I doubt this will stick. Knowing Dow he will file these 13 charges then quickly look for a settlement where she probably pleads no contest or something and gets community service where she can volunteer at some local BLM affiliate where she would probably already be volunteering anyway. All this while her, her friends, and family, extort more money from local businesses with threats to trash them on yelp and other review sites. Dow should have charged at least one felony to make a statement since we all know he’s going to settle for less anyway.

The only way this goes to actual trial will be if her defense attorneys convince her to go to trial for their own fame and fortune.

Dow’s track record is to settle on most of his cases except murder charges. His investigators are corrupt and worthless at the DA office as well. I appreciate cops and support them, but I’m also willing to call them out when they suck and the DAs investigators suck. That whole office needs an overhaul but that’ll never happen because they don’t have the intestinal fortitude to make a change out of fear of losing their next election.

Feckless Dan Dow protected and set loose a mentally unstable repeat offender rapist cop, who not only had multiple rape accusations while on duty, backed up by witnesses and GPS verification, the dirty cop was shuffled from a different county after engaging in sex with a minor, like a catholic priest. Plea Deal Danny seems to have a soft spot for rapists, sex offenders and men who beat women. Plea Deal Danny should NOT be re-elected. His history of failure should have him stepping down but those bigly taxpayer checks are what he lives for. He betrayed citizens and his sworn oath. Dump Dan 2020.

Dan Dow has just set a precedence that if you stop traffic on the freeway for an hour it’s a misdemeanor. James Papp who is proudly running for SLO City Council admitted he went on the freeway during the first protest. Papp was interviewed by Josh Friedman’s on video admitting he committed the infraction/crime, but wonders why he wasn’t arrested or cited. He’s annoyed that HWY 101 in SLO was routed through an ethnic neighborhood 70 years ago before he was born. Quite a stretch to judge SLO as a racist community today using that logic.

Am I missing something? Why should she not be brought to trial?

I believe Black Lives Matter. But I can’t believe in this.

To me, it looks like SLO is being “sucker-punched.”

Who is suggesting these 13 counts will not be adjudicated? Unless a deal is struck, these charges are headed to a courtroom.

Can’t wait!

Wish my jury summons would show up.