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Falling Star

On Efren Carrillo's most recent arrest

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GOLDEN BOY Efren Carrillo's actions demonstrate issues that run deeper than a drinking problem.
  • GOLDEN BOY Efren Carrillo's actions demonstrate issues that run deeper than a drinking problem.

Efren Carrillo was sworn in as a county supervisor at the bright young age of 27, a promising political career ahead of him, smiling and shaking hands, never imagining that he would ever be arrested in his underwear and socks after trying to break into a woman's bedroom at 3:40 in the morning.

Leaders cheered him. Colleagues liked him. Supporters funded him—boy, did they fund him. All of them repeated the same phrases: "rising star," "career politician," "promising future," never imagining that he would ever be arrested in his underwear and socks after trying to break into a woman's bedroom at 3:40 in the morning.

There was the incident in San Diego last year, where Carrillo knocked a guy unconscious outside a Too Short show. Carrillo evaded the press, answering no calls from reporters. Instead, he answered calls from his political mentor Doug Bosco, who knows scandal all too well. Carrillo left for Russia, with plans for damage control, and certainly not with plans for being arrested in his underwear and socks after trying to break into a woman's bedroom at 3:40 in the morning.

The excuse came: Carrillo was defending women from harassment. The charges were dropped. The man knocked unconscious, Jovan Will, would conspicuously not tell his side of the story to the press, and Carrillo came out a hero instead of a bully. Surely, he would never be arrested in his underwear and socks after trying to break into a woman's bedroom at 3:40 in the morning.

But these are the facts: early Saturday morning, Carrillo was arrested in his underwear and socks after trying to break into a woman's bedroom at 3:40 in the morning. Police say they believe his intent was sexual assault.

There is a spin machine at work, even as you read these words, trying to obfuscate the events of that night. Carrillo's lawyer insists the supervisor meant no harm, because he later introduced himself to the woman at her door as a neighbor, before running away. Carrillo, predictably, cited a problem with alcohol and checked into rehab. Doug Bosco went so far as to call it a tragedy for Carrillo himself, saying, in the Press Democrat, "I think the people who are close to Efren and like and respect him are focusing more on the tragedy that it is for him to have made this mistake."

Doug Bosco, who is a principal owner in the Press Democrat and who had raised a substantial amount of campaign funds for Carrillo, might want to consider what it is like to be a woman sleeping while a man rips the screen, opens the window and starts rustling the blinds at 3:40 in the morning, as police say Carrillo did. He might advise Carrillo, this time around, to apologize to his victim instead of his supporters.

Instead, Carrillo issued a virtually empty emailed statement: "I realize that my behavior was embarrassing."

Maybe 27 was too young for Carrillo to get into politics. Maybe one's 20s are supposed to be a little more fun than sitting on committees and going to water agency meetings. Maybe Carrillo grew up too fast, put on a game face and bottled up too much of that youth. Maybe it kept bottled up for so long that it fermented, and mutated, and next thing he knew, he was being arrested in his underwear and socks after trying to break into a woman's bedroom at 3:40 in the morning.

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