A neighbor of Mayor Todd Gloria who fired a single gunshot during a protest outside Gloria’s home has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner.
Lonnie James Crawford, 38, will be sentenced July 6 in San Diego Superior Court. He remains free on $100,000 bond.
Court records say he is likely to get up to six months in custody in a work furlough center as Crawford has filled out an application to qualify in the work furlough program.
This means he would be able to go to work during the day and go to the furlough center at night and on weekends. The center may be a locked facility.
Judge Polly Shamoon took his guilty plea on May 31. If Crawford doesn’t qualify for the center, he would face up to 180 days in jail.
A charge of possession of a drug while armed was dismissed after he pleaded guilty to the other charge.
The incident occurred Aug. 30, 2021, while people were picketing outside Gloria’s apartment building in Mission Hills about homelessness. Protesters said police were too tough with the homeless and they wanted to send a message to the mayor.
No one was injured by the shot as Crawford apparently fired it in the air. But he drove his truck through the crowd too close to protesters, some said. No charges were filed about his driving.
Gloria issued a statement after the protest saying whoever fired the gun was not associated with the protest. He said he was glad the police arrested someone who fired a gun.
Gloria noted the constitutional right to peacefully assemble and protest without fear of being attacked.
The case illustrates a problem with picketing public officials at their homes. There are other surrounding people affected and you cannot control what other people will do or how they will react.
This protest will be remembered for what else happened.