Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo was arrested early Saturday morning wearing nothing but his socks and underwear after a woman in his west Santa Rosa neighborhood reported that he tried to break into her home through a bedroom window, police said.
Although Santa Rosa police arrested him on suspicion of burglary and prowling, they believe his intent was to commit some type of sexual assault, according to Sgt. Terry Anderson.
Carrillo, 32, was arrested after a 3:40 a.m. 911 call in the area of Stony Point Road at West Third Street, within a block of his rented Brockhurst Drive apartment. He was booked at Sonoma County Jail at 10:10 a.m. and was released on $40,000 bail within two hours, according to a jail watch commander. He has a court appearance scheduled for Thursday.
In the six hours that elapsed between the emergency call and Carrillo's jailing, Santa Rosa police determined he had been drinking and decided his explanation was not plausible.
"To us it looked like it had the potential to be a sexual assault of some type," Anderson said.
Both Carrillo and his close advisers sought Saturday to connect his behavior to what they said was a drinking problem.
"I realize that my behavior was embarrassing. It involved alcohol and I'm taking immediate steps to seek professional help," Carrillo said in an emailed statement. He did not respond to calls, text messages or follow-up emails requesting an interview or further comment.
Plans were being made today to get Carrillo checked into rehab, said Eric Koenigshofer, a political supporter and former west county supervisor.
It was the second arrest in less than a year for Carrillo, a Santa Rosa native whose life story as the son of Mexican immigrants and reputation as a dedicated public official have garnered him attention from California's Democratic Party as a promising young Latino candidate.
Ten months ago, Carrillo was arrested in another early morning police call. Charges from that incident — a fight outside a downtown San Diego nightclub on Labor Day that left a man unconscious — were later dropped by prosecutors.
The arrest Saturday could jeopardize his elected county post and puts up an immediate obstacle to his ambitions for higher office. Carrillo was widely expected this summer to announce a run for state legislative office.
Police said a woman awakened by the sound of moving blinds in her bedroom called to report that someone had attempted to enter through the window. She then called a second time to say that the person had knocked on her front door and identified himself as a neighbor before running away, police said.
Police found the woman's bedroom window screen had been torn enough to allow someone to reach through the screen and partially open the window.
Officers arriving at the scene saw a man carrying a cellphone and walking toward them while wearing only underwear and socks, Anderson said.
Carrillo attempted to explain his behavior to detectives, but it didn't add up, Anderson said. He declined to say what Carrillo's explanation was.
"He did have an explanation, but obviously to us, coupled with the evidence that we found at the crime scene, it wasn't a good enough explanation," Anderson said. "Had he been able to explain it away to the extent that we were comfortable that it was just a mistake, then he wouldn't have gone to jail."