Sheriff's Report on Busby Kept Under Tight Lid

Shari Barman, 60, was pepper-sprayed and arrested at a fundraiser for Francine Busby in Cardiff

We all want to know what really happened the night a San Diego County Sheriff deputy arrested the host of a fundraising party for congressional candidate Francine Busby and used pepper-spray on several guests.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is investigating and apparently released the first page of a preliminary report. But, when asked for the full report by the North County Times, department spokesperson Jan Caldwell said no no other information would be released.

An Encinitas station-based deputy responded to a noise complaint at a residence on Rubenstein Avenue in Cardiff, where the party was held June 26. Two people, including hostess Shari Barman, 60, were cited for obstruction. Barman also was cited with misdemeanor assault.

Several people, including Barman, were pepper-sprayed by Deputy Marshall Abbott as they tried to stop Barman's arrest, according to sheriff's investigators. Barman was arrested after she allegedly punched a deputy.

"An ... investigation has been initiated into the use of pepper spray at the private home," sheriff's department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said last week.

Several local attorneys, including two with the American Civil Liberties Union, are questioning if the deputy had the right to enter the home. According to the first page of the preliminary report, the deputy asked someone outside the home where the homeowner was and then, finding the front door open, entered the home.

ACLU Legal Director David Blair-Loy told the North County Times that it is likely that the deputy did not have the authority to enter the home because he did not have the homeowner's consent, nor was there an emergency situation.

"I don't think that a party guest has the legal authority to consent to an officer entering the home," Blair-Loy said.

When asked for details, Caldwell would not discuss what happened but did say there can be implied or direct consent for a deputy to enter a home under some circumstances, the paper reported.

Sheriff's investigators have not released the name of the person who called in the noise complaint or the 911 call made by the person. Partygoers have said the party was relatively quiet but for a heckler who was making obscene remarks during Busby's speech around 8:15 p.m.

The local blogger, former La Mesa Councilman Barry Jantz, who originally released the first page of the Sheriff's department report also posted information about a previous arrest of a Sheri Barman 32 years ago. In the Associated Press story, Barman was arrested for assaulting another driver after a traffic accident at the San Francisco airport.

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