Atascadero man guilty of threatening to torch a bartender in Los Osos

March 17, 2022

Kellen John Clarke


After a week-long trial, a San Luis Obispo County jury found a 59-year-old Atascadero man guilty of threatening to light a bartender on fire at the Sweet Springs Saloon in Los Osos.

On Dec. 16, 2021, Kellen John Clarke insulted a female patron in the bar, which prompted the bartender, to expel the unruly customer. Clarke returned to the bar shortly afterwards with a gas can and threatened to light the bartender and the bar on fire.

Clarke then walked to a gas station directly across the street, where he filled the can with gasoline. While Clarke was walking back across the street to the bar, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies arrived and intercepted Clarke.

In addition to the conviction for making a criminal threat, Clarke was found to be in violation of the terms of his community supervision. In Dec. 2021, Clarke was under post release community supervision after serving a sentence for a felony drunk driving conviction.

Clarke is scheduled to be sentenced on April 4 in the San Luis Obispo County Superior Courthouse.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

86’d from Sweet Springs. Guess we’ll be seeing him at the Merrimaker.

The debased mind of a person on alcohol. The flippant acceptance of alcohol and drugs, especially pot, is more destructive than ever on our society.

Ever been to skid row? I think parents using corporal punishment, drugs and alcohol whilst having children whilst being damaged whilst not teaching kids about sex ed and poverty are the real issues. It’s the same as, a gun isn’t dangerous, a person is. So is pot. There’s always a story behind things. Alcohol is a lobbying beast, leads to more deaths factually, and is accessible. Pot is not. Cigarettes are, and kill more than boose and pot.

Sorry, but they’re all destructive and deadly. There should be no lessening any of because of your support or use of it. I know many law enforcement officers. The cause of DUI on pot has gone up tremendously. That’s a fact. Period. The corruption and lobbying of the “pot beast” is no different and probably worse than alcohol due to the greed for money from it.

Look no further than our own county with the demise of Adam Hill, Helios Daysprings, Heidi Harmon, and many other local politicians along with county and city staffs selling out for greed and favor. Blatant corruption, deceit, damage to the environment, and yes, death, right in our backyard. That’s factual.

Correction, “they all _can_ be destructive and deadly” not, “they all _are_ destructive and deadly.”

You make it sound like everyone who smokes or drinks is going to cause a DUI incident.. or everyone involved in alcohol or marijuana trade is corrupt and greedy.

When you focus on only the people involved who make bad and harmful choices and ignore the much larger number of people involved who don’t, you create a skewed picture and start throwing blame in the wrong directions.

I just get so tired of the simplistic response of, “oh, some people are abusing N and causing serious problems so we’ve got to try to stamp out all availability of N!” (whatever ‘N’ is.)

Yeah, I get your point, kind of reminds me of the gun argument. We hear about mass shooting by nutcases but not about the 100 million gun owners who are firearms safe, law abiding, and “normal.”

You unfortunately assume a lot of false conclusions from my comments. There no throwing blame in the wrong directions. I have no problem with people who choose to partake in deadly vices as long as it doesn’t injure innocent people and they follow the laws of all of the things mentioned. Those who do it under the laws and guidance of the rules and regulations, so be it, enjoy.

I get so tired of people making excuses or always trying to justify actions that lead to illegal activity that brings potential harm and destruction to innocent people.