Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo is free on bail after being arrested Saturday near his Santa Rosa home on suspicion of burglary and prowling, police said.
The arrest occurred after a female neighbor called police to report a man had tried to break in through her bedroom window.
The initial police call came in at 3:40 a.m., when the woman awoke to the sound of her blinds rustling. She then called the police again after the stranger knocked on her front door, identified himself as a neighbor and then ran away.
According to police, when they arrived to the home at Stony Point Road and West Third Street, they found Carrillo walking towards them carrying a cell phone — wearing nothing but socks and underwear.
Officers said Carrillo — a west Sonoma County representative for nearly five years — had been drinking alcohol, but did not appear “sloppy drunk.”
At the woman’s home, police found a torn bedroom window screen and a partially open window.
The neighbor told a detective she’s had “informal neighborhood contact” with Carrillo two or three times before; however, they did not have a physical relationship. The last time she spoke to him was more than a month ago.
In the six-hour questioning that followed, the 32-year-old elected official tried to explain his behavior to officers. While Anderson didn’t elaborate on what Carrillo said, he said the explanation didn’t make sense:
“Had he been able to explain it away to the extent that we were comfortable that it was just a mistake, then he wouldn’t have gone to jail.”
As seen by his appearance, the broken window screen and the fact that he identified himself as a neighbor, Anderson said the incident “looked like it had the potential to a sexual assault of some type.”
Carrillo was booked at Sonoma County Jail at 10:10 a.m. and released on $40,000 bail by noon.
In a statement released on Saturday, Carrillo stated he is seeking help for his alcohol use:
“I realize that my behavior was embarrassing. It involved alcohol, and I’m taking immediate steps to seek professional help.”
This is Carrillo’s second arrest in ten months. The first occurred on Labor Day after a 2 a.m. fight outside a San Diego nightclub left one man unconscious. Carrillo was booked on suspicion of battery and disturbing the peace, but maintained the altercation began because a man was harassing his female friends.
On Carrillo’s recent arrest, Supervisor Shirlee Zane called the incident “incredibly troubling.”
Zane was with Carrillo the previous night at a fundraiser for the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation. The event, which ran from 5 to 10 p.m., served beer and wine, but Zane said she did not see Carrillo drinking.
Eric Koenigshofer, a former west county supervisor, said immediate plans are being made to check Carrillo into rehab. He told the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat:
“It’s a tragic thing because he’s a tremendous guy and a great friend and great community figure, but he has a problem with alcohol.”
Carrillo grew up in Santa Rosa’s Roseland, and graduated from University of California, Berkeley in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Economics and Policy.
In 2008 at age 27, he was elected into office, making him the second youngest supervisor to serve the county. Last year, he was re-elected to serve the Fifth District.
Carrillo’s court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.