Authorities in California arrested a 51-year-old homeless man last month on suspicion of breaking and entering Gov. Jerry Brown’s Sacramento residence.
Suspect Steven Seeley told KCRA reporters that he figured the Democratic governor was “an open-door policy kind of guy.”
Following Seeley’s arrest on April 19, he has agreed to multiple jailhouse interviews with media outlets in an effort to share his side of the story. He said he was startled by the sound of what he believed to be a roar from a large cat and immediately sought shelter in the governor’s home.
“He’s an open-door policy kind of guy, so I figured the door would be unlocked, or else I wouldn’t have ran over there if I thought the door would be locked,” he said.
Seeley told the Sacramento Bee that he knew whose home it was and believed he might be able to protect Brown.
“I was looking for the security staff, but I didn’t see anybody,” he said. “I thought the governor was in trouble, I thought he was in danger of being attacked by the wild animals. So I walked in. I yelled ‘Jerry!'”
Seeley claimed the sounds continued after he entered the home and he retreated to a closet. Shortly thereafter, he said he exited through a window and over a fence.
In the process, he injured his arm and was transported to an area hospital by a witness. He was taken directly from the hospital into the custody of police.
Though the governor was not at home at the time of the break-in, his wife was. Fran Clader, a spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol, indicated that Anne Gust Brown was upstairs the entire time and never came into contact with the suspect.
“The first lady was on an upper floor of the residence when the incident occurred and had no contact with the subject,” she said. “No force was used or required by officers during this incident, and the subject was unarmed.”
Clader also said the residence is covered by “a robust on-site security presence” at all times.
The suspect acknowledged that he sometimes experiences delusions, so he could not be certain that the events occurred as he described them.
He also admitted to being a near-daily abuser of methamphetamine who has been sleeping across the street from the governor’s mansion in an abandoned hotel.
Clader confirmed Seeley was arrested on suspicion of trespassing “on the executive residence property, breaking a side window on the first floor of the residence.”
She said security guards assigned to protect the residence were “on site throughout the incident” and observed the suspect “behaving erratically.”
The CHP spokesperson affirmed that the “safety of the first family continues to be our top priority and enhanced security measures remain in place.”
As Fox News reported, the incident sheds light on California’s continued struggle in addressing an expansive homeless population.
Roughly one in four homeless Americans now lives in the state, a population that cost California about $10 million in cleanup costs alone between 2016 and 2017.
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