Violent Threats By Occupy Sweetwater Result In Restraining Order

Southern Exposure Southern Exposure 20 Comments


Following a school board meeting on April 16, Sweetwater Union High School District Trustee John McCann was giving an interview with a news station when members of the Occupy Sweetwater group began heckling him and yelling. Occupy member Maty Adato called McCann an a**hole, while Kathleen Cheers told a bystander, Jimmy Delgado, that she had warned her husband she would probably end up in jail that night because she was going to slap McCann.

Following the interview, McCann proceeded to shake hands with others who had stayed after the meeting, even offering his hand to some Occupy members. However, when McCann offered his hand to Occupy leader Stewart Payne, it was refused and Payne came toward him, telling the school trustee to “get out of his face” or he would “knock him out,” at which point Payne raised his hand in the face of McCann. A security guard immediately became concerned about McCann’s safety and stepped in, instructing Payne to back down. In the security guard’s statement he says he stepped in between the two for McCann’s safety.

A second security guard then took McCann to the district’s board room. On the way they were approached by Delgado, an employee of the San Ysidro school district and teachers’ union member, who suggested to the security guard and McCann that Payne’s actions constituted a threat. Once in the board room McCann called the Chula Vista Police to report Payne’s threat and a report was filed.

In Delgado’s statement he relates an additional threat, stating that Payne had followed him into the parking lot that night to ask him who he was. After Delgado introduced himself, Payne told him that one way or another he was going to “kick John McCann’s ass.” Both of the security guards and Delgado provided sworn statements regarding the night’s events that verify what McCann states happened.

I am inclined to believe two security guards and even more inclined to believe Delgado, a union member from another school district.

As a result of these actions it was decided that it would be necessary for the district to obtain a restraining order against Payne on behalf of McCann, and a temporary restraining order was issued. California law allows for employers to obtain restraining orders on behalf of employees when a threat takes place at the workplace or as a result of doing their job. Issues for restraining orders are not taken lightly by judges, with petitioners required to prove that a credible threat to their safety exists. Obviously, Judge Francis Devaney believed Payne to be a threat to McCann’s safety.

This is not Payne’s first experience in which police have been called to a meeting he attended. In October of 2009 Payne was protesting at a CIF Commission meeting where his group, Citizens Against CIF, was demanding the ouster of CIF Commissioner Dennis Ackerman and his assistant Bill McLaughlin, whom they accused of being biased against minorities and kids from poor neighborhoods south of I-8. (Payne’s children attend school at Eastlake, which, in my opinion, is not a poor neighborhood.) Police presence was requested at the meeting to make certain the protesters did not get out of control.

It is unconscionable to me how these Occupy members feel that behaving like bullies is okay.

Wow, I just re-read that last sentence and realized how ridiculous it is — of course they would act in this way, they are Occupy members. It’s time for Occupy to grow up and get real jobs where they can learn to act like responsible adults — maybe even learn how to shake a hand!

I hope anyone concerned with schools will take the time to read the linked restraining order. In my opinion Stewart Payne is definitely a threat to John McCann and the school board.


Comments 20

  1. Interesting. Everybody’s got a cell phone. Got any pictures or video you can post?

  2. I wasn’t there, but I have heard several different versions of this story. So let’s at least talk about the past history of both sides. As I remember McCann was involved in an incident in the past where he did something threatening to a fellow council member – maybe involving his car? I don’t remember the details… I also saw a YouTube video where McCann is coming unglued at a school board meeting and yelling at an audience member about “you and your people”. He doesn’t seem like the most stable of people either. In a news article about this incident it stated the McCann was calling the security guard over saying “he (Payne) won’t shake my hand”. Seems like we haven’t gotten to the truth of this incident yet. I really do hope there is video to clear this up.

  3. Why do you people even bother to publish ridiculous items such as this. So Johnny boy was called an a***hole. I have been to board meeting before and these people do get up and say their peace (not that anyone listens) but Johnny boy is the one appearing to be unstable. If these people did not want to shake his hand why did he even stick around. Johnny boy you need to grow a pair and stop using your military career to get sympathy. Real vets don’t do that stuff. I was at the meeting where a retired commanding officer reprimanded you and said you were kind of a disgrace. This could end of blowing up in poor Johnny boys face.

  4. Threatening people who want to shake your hand and then following them out to the parking lot. I wonder if that’s how these Occupy fools act in job interviews. No wonder they can’t get jobs.

  5. No one was followed to the parking lot – truth be told McCann ran by us because he heard there was a tv crew out there.

    Perhaps someone might ask the question “why is McCann consistently bashing those that went to the authoritiesabout shouldn’t he be cleaning up the District, as he promised? Oh, but that is right he is too busy excepting campaign donations from persons such as Mr. Bunton a year after he won the election, all in an effort to help pay off his campaign debt. Illegal? No – Unethical? you be the judge. Remember who Mr. Bunton is?

    The comment regarding going to jail – the majority of the Board has done their best to keep us from the Board meetings, including attempting to lock us out of Board Meetings while Administrators were funneled thru using another door.

  6. Aside from valid safety concerns, I’m DELIGHTED with the thuggish behavior of Occupy folks. Fortunately these Occupy nit-wits, half-wits and dim-wits have NO idea how negatively the general public views such bullying behavior.

    My advice? Don’t tell ’em how they are perceived. These dullards will do more than we limited government folks could EVER do to discredit their movement. Go Occupy!

  7. Richard,

    I agree with you that many of the people occupying Occupy events are kinda lost. Reporter that I am, I went to the Occupy San Diego event at the civic center several times. What did I see? A lot of homeless people, some with hangovers, who probably didn’t know what Occupy San Diego was; several younger, idealistically naive folks; several anarchists or Communists – take your pick; and several people who were legitimately concerned about the economic challenges this country is facing and how those challenges are being addressed.

    All in all, it seemed like I was having a flashback to a few Grateful Dead concerts I attended eons ago – without the endless drum solo.

    But painting all “Occupy” people as “nit-wits, half-wits and dim-wits” is a gross generalization. No different than saying all Republicans are money-grubbing SOBs, or all Democrats are America-hating Commies.

    I get your point. And no doubt the people highlighted in this item were out of line. But I look at it like this: I’m a Dodger fan. If one Dodger fan gets drunk at Petco Park, is it right to say all Dodger fans are lousy drunks? I never drink at a baseball game. Prices are too outrageous.

    That said, I’d like to see the police report. Looks interesting. And thanks to Rostra for publishing this.

  8. “and no doubt the people highlighted in this item were out of line” – just when i thought you were willing to wait to see all of the evidence you go and let me down.

    the majority of those named in this ””’report””’ are not OCCUPY SWEETWATER members. not that i am not in favor of the OCCUPY SWEETWATER/RECALL movement.

    if you have followed the pay to play alleged corruption in the south bay involving sweetwater and southwestern and you are a tax payer then surely you understand why the RECALL is necessary. we the tax paying public deserve a board that is fiscally responsible. one that remains cognizant of their responsibilities as board members – no matter what their party affiliation. have you gone to the san diego registrar of voters website and reviewed the campaign donations received by board members of sweetwater or southwestern in the last election? – take a look at who was donating all of those thousands – names look familiar? that is because some of them are the same companies that recently plead guilty and are ‘helping’ with the investigation. PAY TO PLAY – we want it gone from the School Boards in the south bay –

    if you are not of that opinion then we will have to respectfully agree to disagree.

  9. Does anyone besides “Bill” think the Tea Party movement and the Occupy movement espouse or deliver roughly the same level of violence and coercion? Even close?

    The difference is stark — be it the violence, the property damage, properly permitted gatherings, and even the mess left behind.

    But it’s great that “morally equivalent” Bill thinks it all balances out. You go Bill! Occupy, keep it up!

  10. David, I agree — if a drunk Dodger fan misbehaves, I don’t condemn all Dodger fans. But if 5-15% of the sober Dodger fans “spontaneously” organize and commit violence — every game — I think I’ll lay the blame on the Dodger organization — and the fans.

  11. Remember the Tea Party incident where ONE individual supposedly spat on or at a black politician (NEVER verified, even with the tape rolling)? Too many in the press claimed this real or imagined incident typified the hate and racism of the Tea Party movement.

    Where’s the balanced reporting and punditry?

  12. “Does anyone besides “Bill” think the Tea Party movement and the Occupy movement espouse or deliver roughly the same level of violence and coercion? Even close?”


    I never mentioned the Tea Party.

  13. No, you didn’t mention the Tea Party, Bill. And wisely so. The violence is being produced by the Occupy movement.

    But your inference was obvious. Extremism on both sides somehow evens out, according you you.

    Where’s all the YouTube videos of U.S. right wing violence? Especially at rallies? Provide the links here!

    If not the Tea Party, who or what are you referring to? Some talk show host, perhaps — using hurtful words?

  14. Well, Richard, I never mentioned Occupy either.

    Believe it or not, I don’t have a horse in this race. From what I’ve heard one of the main reasons for the Tea Party was the TARP bailouts. And from what I’ve heard one of the main reasons for the Occupy movement was the TARP bailouts. And I agree with the TARP bailouts. I guess that puts me on the side of Obama AND Romney.

    Frankly, I believe the Occupy people were a disorganized bunch with no real goal. The Tea Party, on the other hand, reminds me of the dog who’s always chasing cars and then doesn’t know what to do with it once he’s caught it.

    In regard to the video link posted, it’s difficult not to see that since this occurred right in front of the candidate it was his responsibility to stop it, especially since everyone seems to have a cell phone nowadays.

  15. Nice try, Bill. You failed to explain your snide comment “[Richard] you never heard of UTube? Political extremism cuts both ways.”

    So far you have ZERO evidence — YouTube or otherwise — to present to back you comment. So you wander off on a tangential item involving philosophy and issues. The question involves VIOLENCE, INTIMIDATION, LAWBREAKING and COERCION — not the views of either side. Occupy protests often include these characteristics, the protests of the right seldom do. They AIN’T the same.

  16. BTW, I have little interest in this PARTICULAR episode in Sweetwater — certainly there is little evidence from either side.

    I’m referring to the broader Occupy movement and their (fortunately counterproductive) proclivity to practice violence and lawbreaking — n stark contrast to the “radical” Tea Party movement.

  17. If Payne wanted McCann he would of and could of taken him out.. Payne served over 20 yrs in the Marine Corps, obtaining the highest enlisted rank possible. He earned the “Right” to protest anything he wants. He has defended the Constitution of the United States against all Enemies Foreign and Domestic for well over 20 yrs. You civilian scum-bags need to realize his rights as a citizen. Maybe McCann needs to be taught a little lesson…

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