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SLO County DA withholding opinions on recent protestors’ arrests until after investigations are complete

San Luis Obispo Black Lives Matter protest

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow released a statement asking community members to have patience during the investigations of the arrests of two protestors in San Luis Obispo on Tuesday.

"At this time, I would like to respectfully ask all who are concerned to please be patient and allow us to complete our duty in a fair, thoughtful, and thorough manner," DA Dan Dow said at the beginning of the statement.

Tianna Arata and Elias Bautista participated in a Black Lives Matter protest that entered the US 101 freeway Tuesday afternoon, stopping traffic in both directions at the Osos on and offramps.

According to San Luis Obispo police, while on Highway 101, some protesters damaged the hood of a car and shattered a rear window, causing glass to break onto a 4-year-old child sitting in the back seat.

Tiana Arata, identified as the organizer of the protest, had reportedly assured police prior to the gathering that it would remain peaceful. She was arrested during the march and faces charges for participating in a riot, unlawful assembly, conspiracy, unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest.

Police said, while they were arresting Arata, an officer was assaulted by another protestor, later identified as Elias Bautista. Bautista was immediately arrested by SLO police.

The SLO County DA released the statement Friday evening regarding Arata and Bautista's arrests, likely in answer to several inquiries they have received.

In the statement, Dan Dow said investigators are continuing to look into the cases and it is not until the investigations are complete that the DA's Office will decide whether criminal charges should be filed in court.

"It would be inappropriate and counterproductive for this office to provide an opinion at this time based on social media posts or media reports that may or may not be borne out by the evidence (facts) gathered in the pending investigation(s). We will carefully and thoroughly examine all of the evidence submitted before making any final determination."

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow
Article Topic Follows: Crime & Courts

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Jessica Brest

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