Assaults and arrests, SLO County developer’s fall from grace

May 15, 2024

Ryan Petetit-Wright and two women


Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series about the evolution of notorious developer Ryan Wright, also known as Ryan Petetit, and the legal challenges he is currently facing. Read part one: Evolution of an alleged San Luis Obispo County conman.

Often with several beautiful women, one on each arm, San Luis Obispo County developer Ryan Petetit was a lady’s man. Whether flying his dates to exotic locations, showering them with gifts, or taking them to exclusive nightclubs, Petetit appeared to appreciate women – until he didn’t.

For most of his adult life, women have accused Petetit of sadistic, violent assaults. Even though a string of women contacted law enforcement, prosecutors rarely filed charges.

Petetit was dating a Morro Bay woman in 2010 who CalCoastNews is calling Jane Doe.

While the couple was at a hotel piano bar in Los Angeles following a Dodger game, a famous singer performed and dedicated a song to Doe. In a jealous rage, Petetit dragged the woman back to their room, where he kicked her in the head until she lost consciousness, according to court records.

Back in Morro Bay, in July 2010, Petetit grabbed Doe by the hair, shoved her against a wall, threw her over a couch and pushed her into a closet. Doe told Morro Bay officers she tried to get away, but couldn’t because Petetit had ripped her clothes off and taken her purse.

Morro Bay police asked the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office to file charges, but the filing was rejected because Doe was uncooperative and afraid.

In early 2012, Petetit convinced his new girlfriend Michelle Jewsbury to quit her job in Los Angeles and live with him at his Arroyo Grande home. Jewsbury said she was swept off her feet by a man who showered her with gifts and a luxury lifestyle she had never known before.

However, “over the course of the next few months, Petetit’s emotional, sexual, and physical abuse of Jewsbury continued and began to escalate into more frequent physical violence, especially when Petetit was drinking,” according to a lawsuit Jewbury filed against Petetit.

The couple was socializing with friends in Santa Barbara in Aug. 2012 when Petetit became angry, dragged Jewsbury from a bar and forced her into a taxi, according to the lawsuit. Back at their hotel room, Petetit placed both of his hands on her neck, pushed Jewsbury up against a wall and began to choke her, the lawsuit says.

Even though Petetit was charged with assault, Jewsbury later refused to cooperate with prosecutors and the charges were dropped.

On New Year’s Day 2013, Petetit, Jewsbury, Jonathan Westbay and others were celebrating at the Cliff’s Resort in Pismo Beach when Petetit threw a drink in Jewsbury’s face because he thought she was flirting with another man. A male stranger tried to stop Petetit, but Petetit hit him in the face so hard blood started to come from his nose, according to the lawsuit.

Jewsbury left the bar and Petetit followed, witnesses said.

Outside the club, Petetit grabbed Jewsbury by the throat and pushed her head into a concrete bench. Petetit then grabbed her head and smashed it several times into the concrete.

“I thought he had killed her,” Westbay said.

Westbay said officers asked him to leave the scene and refused to take his statement at the time. Petetit later bragged that several members of his family, who are in local law enforcement, circulated stories that Jewsbury was a drunk who falsely accused other boyfriends in the past in an attempt to get the charges dropped.

Pismo Beach police arrested Petetit for a misdemeanor charge of corporal injury and booked him in San Luis Obispo County Jail. However, that charge, too, was eventually dropped, but not before a local attorney asked Westbay to lie on the stand, Westbay said.

Ryan Wright on vacation

During this time, Petetit had found a doctor who prescribed performance enhancing drugs, according to his roommate at the time.

On the evening of Nov. 22, 2015, a verbal argument ensued between Petetit and another girlfriend at a home they shared in Arroyo Grande. CalCoastNews is not naming the 2015 girlfriend to protect her privacy.

The argument turned physical with Petetit pushing the victim and yelling. Petetit grabbed the victim by the throat and began choking her. He then dragged her to her feet and shoved her head through a bathroom window, shattering the glass.

The victim attempted to escape, but Petetit took her phone and pushed her into a closet, refusing to release her, she said. While the victim fought to free herself, Petetit slammed her head into the tile floor, knocking her unconscious.

When she awoke, the victim fled to a family member’s home, and went to a hospital.

In Nov. 2018, Petetit plead guilty to assault with great bodily injury, false imprisonment with force, dissuading a witness and two charges of inflicting corporal injury on a cohabitant.

As Petetit awaited sentencing for the violent assault of his girlfriend, he was working to leave his past and his name behind.

At a sentencing hearing on Jan. 17, 2018, San Luis Obispo County Judge Barry LaBarbera agreed to a three-month delay in the sentencing of Petetit, so that he could legally change his name to Ryan Wright.

In July 2019, a judge sentenced Wright to four-years in prison for five felonies related to the violent assault. The judge then stayed Ryan Petetit’s prison sentence pending his completion of five years formal probation and attendance in a batterers’ program.

In addition, the judge sentenced Petetit to serve 270 days in the San Luis Obispo County Jail.

Following the assault, the victim warned a CalCoastNews reporter that Petetit had talked of hiring a hitman to curtail CalCoastnews reporting on his and Belsher’s relationship with SLO County Supervisor Adam Hill.

Read part-three, “Exposed by a Post-it-note: The fall of Ryan Petetit,” on Saturday.


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I googled Ms. Jewsbury’s name. She’s made a career on her experience with that abusive man.

Stop trying to make me feel sorry for this guy. It’s not his fault his daddy didn’t love him.

Listening to this interview was a trip to hell. Good study for a mistrial.

Belsher’s worse!!!

Maybe not as a abuser of women, but far worse as a financial criminal!!!

Justice will not be served until John is locked up too!!!

That guy belongs in a cage permanently. He has some serious problems.

I agree with that but there are so many lowlifes involved.