I got arrested by the San Francisco Police Department; and, surprisingly, I found it useful and a great experience for me as an actor and as an individual. My arrest, like my other past life-experiences, is part of who I am; and, I’m a better person because of it; and, as an actor, it is an experience I can use to for my acting objectives, en re, 12-Acting Steps: Chubbuck Method.
Would I wanna go through it again? Hell, no; but, as I mentioned, the rewards of going through this experience outweighed the minor inconvenience of being in county jail for ~7 hours…in other words, I don’t regret going through this experience. I learned many things about myself through this experience; and, one of the most important things I learned from this experience is I NO LONGER am interested in being a San Francisco Police Officer (Reserve) — more on this in a later BLOG.
I was working on a film project, ironically, with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD); and, one night, 14-March-2019, while acting out my theatrical tactical combat manuevers in my house, a team of ~12 SFPD officers knocked on my door and investigated my home; because, of a complaint a passer-by made, while looking into my window, as I was practicing my theatrical tactical combat maneuvers for a film I was working on. Apparently, the passer-by thought a sidearm was in my hand, and she was concerned.
To be clear, I wasn’t arrested for having a sidearm in my hand; because, I DID NOT have a sidearm in my hand while I was practicing my theatrical tactical combat maneuvers in the privacy of my home — albeit, with my shades up.
Even if I did have a sidearm in my hands, that is not an offense nor can I be arrested for that — it’s my right to do that in the privacy of my home.
I was practicing with black gloves on, assuming positions that LOOKED like there was a sidearm in my hands, and I was whipping on and off my tactical belt coupled with martial arts movements. So, I don’t blame the passer-by for being freaked-out — hell, it’s San Francisco — one of the most unfriendliest city regarding firearms.
Back to SFPD…12 cops came over, and I offered them to search my house WITHOUT a search warrant — I had nothing to hide. They declined to search my home. After I explained to them that I was rehearsing for a film, they were fine with that, and, they were about to leave, and I was gonna get back to watching Dominic Tiem play out his match at Indian Wells on the Tennis Channel.
On their way out, they saw a baton I had on my shelf, which, in my past auditions and film projects, I used that baton as a prop whenever I played a police officer or auditioned for a police officer part.
Well, they arrested me of having a baton, which is a felony to own — I didn’t know it was a felony to own; so, on went the cuffs and off I went to San Francisco County Jail, where I spent seven hours until my mum and sister bailed me out for $1500 (one thousand five hundred dollars).
Hey, when San Francisco dispatches 12 officers to a person’s home, they can’t go back to the office empty-handed; so, I don’t blame them for wanting to get me on something to justify the 12-man visit to my home.
(The charge is 22210 PC/F, which states: Possession of a deadly weapon: Billy Club, Black Jack, Sandbag, SAP, Sling-shot (wrist-rocket), Slung-shot, or leaded cane. (This is considered a low-level felony or low-level misdemeanor — a wobbler in legal terms.) So if you are in possession of a sling-shot (wrist-rocket) or any of the items mentioned herein, and you get caught, you can technically get arrested.)
Once I got out of county jail, I called my awesome attorney, Givelle Lamano: LamanoLaw.com. She and my other awesome attorney, Jonah Chew, did their thing with the district attorney’s office, while I played tennis and went to Los Angeles for auditions. Really, this issue wasn’t a concern for me, and I will explain the reason for that in my next BLOG.
Long story short, since, the baton WAS NOT on my person nor did I have physical control of it at the time the SFPD discovered it (the baton was in my home sitting on a shelf in plain view — not hidden), the district attorney’s office dropped the charge from a low level felony to a low level misdemeanor, and they had no apparent interest to charge me nor go to trial; hence, I had not conviction for possession of a deadly weapon (my baton), which as I stated, I possessed it with the intent to use it for my acting prop as a working actor.
In addition, this was my first arrest, and I did not have any run-ins with the law in my past; hence, my attorney and the district attorney’s office established I was not a criminal nor possessed a felonious mind — rather, to the contrary, I’m a responsible resident and home owner in the City and County of San Francisco with meritorious credits of volunteer work for SFPD, Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, SFFD, US Coast Guard, and other organizations.
My only punishment for this low level misdemeanor offense was a $200 fine coupled with going to class called, Thinking For Change, taught by a community program, Neighborhood Court, sponsored by the district attorney’s office.
I could have had my attorney fight this punishment, but I agreed to it ($200 fine and the 4-week class); because, after all, I did own an illegal weapon, the baton, so I didn’t mind agreeing to those terms and conditions — right is right and wrong is wrong; and, I have no problems accepting responsibility for any wrong-doings I committed.
Surprisingly, I found the class to be very interesting; and, I’m thinking about attending more of the classes whenever I’m in San Francisco and have some free time. I also offered my time to be a volunteer teacher or mentor for students for that class.
The district attorney’s office gave me the option to seal my arrest; and, I declined — I am not ashamed of my arrest — in fact, it was a great experience for me as an actor and person.
My arrest was based on my own ignorance of not knowing a baton was illegal to own. So what? “No big deal to me — leave my arrest open to the public,” I stated to my attorneys.
My arrest, like my other past life-experiences, is part of who I am; and, I’m a better person because of it — more on this in another BLOG.
So, why am I writing this BLOG?
For the following reasons:
- God was with me, and I felt Him — He guided me through this new and unfamiliar territory;
- I learned that our legal system is grossly unjust to the detriment of indigent people; and,
- I no longer wanna be a reserved SFPD officer; through this experience, I saw things with SFPD that don’t match with my life-interests and my philosophy of life;
- I look pretty good in orange; and, it was the first time I ever wore Crocs (lousy shoes); and,
- I have this experience as a new resource for my acting career, which I have recently tapped into for my audition several days ago — very cool resource for me to tap into as an actor.
I will go into more detail of these reasons in my upcoming future BLOGs; right now, I have to attend my acting class and prepare for auditions in LA today, 28-April-2019.
Some quick “Thank Yous”:
- My Lord, my Savior, and Holy Spirit
- My family, Dr. Charles Scott, M.D. (family friend), and Suede (sis’s boyfriend)
- My attorney, Givelle Lamano, Esquire
- My attorney, Jonah Chew, Esquire
- SOMA Rotary: Nine La Dow
- My Tennis Group
- Nick W. Stegner: All Pro Bail Bond
- The six detainees with whom I shared the holding-room in SF County Jail — you guys were so supportive of me — thank you! I wish you all the best in your legal journeys.
- Thank you to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office for treating me well — especially, the exiting sheriff that gave me back my personal belongings and gave me a brand new grey sweatshirt; because, he noticed I only had a t-shirt when I was released and was worried I was cold. He also was very supportive through this discourse with me at the exit-door:
Sheriff: You don’t look nor talk like the regulars that come in here; do you mind if I ask you, “What are you in here for?”
I: SFPD arrested me because I possessed a baton. They saw it resting on a shelf at my home and took me in.
Sheriff: YOU ARE KIDDING ME! REALLY?!!! That’s bull-shit…they arrested you for that?!!! Hey, listen, I’ve been here long enough; and, all I can tell you, Alfonso, is “don’t worry. You will be fine — the DA will drop the charges, and you will be just fine…unless, you’re not telling me the entire truth.”
I: No, sir — I ain’t lying — that’s the entire truth, and you can look it up in my file and police record.
Sheriff: Well, you got nothin’ to worry about — hell, this is San Francisco after all.
I: Thank you. I appreciate your candor.
Sheriff: Is that all you have? Don’t you have a jacket or sweater?
I: No, I didn’t plan on my evening going this way.
Sheriff: Wait a second…what size sweatshirt do you wear?
(Walks to the back of the office, and comes back out with a plastic package in his hands.)
Sheriff: Here you go…take this — it’s cold outside.
(Hands me a brand new grey sweatshirt in a plastic bag. It’s one of my favorite shirts, and I frequently wear it.)
I: Wow — thank you!
Sheriff: Don’t forget about us when you become a famous actor!
Very cool sheriff — I wish I got his name — anyway, “Thanks, sheriff, for your kindness!”
/s/ Alfonso Faustino