Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo departed for Russia on Thursday as questions swirled about his arrest during a brawl in San Diego over Labor Day.
Several new details emerged Thursday about the fight outside a San Diego nightclub that left one man unconscious and landed one of Sonoma County's youngest and most popular politicians in jail for 10 hours on suspicion of felony battery causing injury.
Police Lt. Andra Brown said the investigation has not reached the stage at which detectives will decide whether to send the case to the San Diego District Attorney's Office with a recommendation that charges be filed.
She noted that battery with injury is a "wobbler," meaning it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Felonies are handled by the District Attorney's Office, misdemeanors by the city attorney, she said.
In Santa Rosa, calls poured into Carrillo's district office Thursday after the incident surfaced in news reports. Most of the callers expressed support for Carrillo, but some were critical, district director Susan Upchurch said.
Carrillo spoke with his aide Thursday, but for the second straight day did not return multiple phone calls and text messages seeking comment about the early Monday altercation.
His silence has left many key questions unanswered, including who was with him when the fight broke out, who bailed him out of jail and what attorney is representing the 31-year-old supervisor.
In a statement issued by his office Wednesday after reports of the arrest first surfaced, Carrillo said he stepped in to defend women in his group who were being harassed by "rowdies."
According to family members, Carrillo left Thursday from San Francisco International Airport on an eight-day trip to Russia. He is part of a group of North Coast residents marking the bicentennial of the founding of the former Russian settlement of Fort Ross on the Sonoma Coast.
Fort Ross, now a state park, is in Carrillo's 5th Supervisorial District.
Carrillo made his own way to the airport for the 2 p.m. flight to St. Petersburg, Russia, electing not to join the other 22 people in the group for the bus ride from Petaluma.
Supporters said they trust Carrillo's version of the fight and believe he did nothing wrong. Those going to Russia with Carrillo said they didn't think the incident would overshadow the trip.
"I don't have any reason to doubt his word about what happened," said Dave Lemmer of Camp Meeker.
Trip director Robin Joy Wellman said Carrillo would be among those meeting Russian government officials in St. Petersburg and Moscow. State Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, is in Russia on a separate trip with other lawmakers and is expected to join Carrillo at some point.
"It's important for Efren to be there," Wellman said before boarding the bus. "We have full faith in him."
Meanwhile, San Diego authorities offered a bit more information about the confrontation, which happened on Fourth Avenue in the center of the city's Gaslamp Quarter entertainment district.
Brown, the police lieutenant, said officers were called out at about 2:10 a.m. to find three men fighting in the street. They arrested Carrillo first and then detained a second man, Rayan Jastaniyah, 22, of San Diego, who appeared to try to get away, Brown said.
"The other suspect tried to mingle in the crowd," she said. "People pointed him out and he was arrested as well."