A man charged with firing a single gunshot outside Mayor Todd Gloria’s home in Mission Hills during a protest has been charged with discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner.
Lonnie James Crawford, 38, is also charged with possession of cocaine while armed in the Aug. 30, 2021 incident, which did not result in any injuries, but it disrupted the protest.
People were peacefully picketing outside Gloria’s apartment building around 9 p.m. with signs about the homeless when the man drove a truck through the crowd. He went inside a nearby building, as he is a neighbor of Gloria, and came outside, firing one shot in the air, according to witnesses.
Crawford pleaded not guilty Jan. 13 before San Diego Superior Court Judge Joseph Brannigan, who scheduled an April 28 preliminary hearing.
Crawford was allowed to remain free on $100,000 bond on conditions that include attending self-help meetings and a ban on leaving the state, according to court records.
“These felony charges reflect the seriousness of the defendant’s actions and the danger he posed to the protesters who were clearly victimized by his actions,” said District Attorney Summer Stephan in a press release.
“I want to be clear that everyone’s right to protest peacefully must be safeguarded and anyone who harms that right through illegal conduct will face consequences,” said Stephan.
At the time, Gloria issued a statement saying “All San Diegans have a constitutional right to peacefully assemble and protest without fear of being attacked or intimidated.”
“Last night’s protest at the apartment building where my family and I live turned violent when a man not associated with the protest senselessly fired a gun,” said Gloria on Aug. 31.
“I’m grateful for our police department’s work that apprehended the suspect who is now in custody and facing multiple felony charges,” said Gloria.
Tasha Williamson was at the protest, and told reporters “we have a right to be free to protest, to be safe to protest.”
“We showed up at Todd’s house because he sends law enforcement officers and other people to the homeless population every single day,” said protester Mandy Lien.