By KAREN VELIE
Developer Ryan Petetit plead guilty Tuesday to five felony counts regarding a domestic violence incident in 2015 that sent a 23-year-old woman to the hospital.
Petetit plead guilty to assault with great bodily injury, false imprisonment with force, dissuading a witness and two charges of inflicting corporal injury on a cohabitant. Because this is his first conviction, Petetit is likely to spend less than a year in jail, according to a witness in the case.
Petetit is a principal in PB Companies, a real estate investment and development firm currently embroiled in multiple legal actions. In the past seven years, since Petetit co-founded PB Companies with John Belsher, Petetit has been charged with nine felonies and six misdemeanors including multiple charges related to domestic violence, several for writing bad checks and one for drunk in public.
On the evening of Nov. 22, 2015, a verbal argument ensued between Petetit and his girlfriend at a home they shared in Arroyo Grande.
The argument turned physical with Petetit allegedly pushing the victim and yelling, she said. Petetit grabbed the victim by the throat and began choking her. He then dragged her to her feet and shoved her head through a bathroom window, shattering the glass.
The victim attempted to escape, but Petetit took her phone and pushed her into a closet, refusing to release her, she said. While the victim fought to free herself, Petetit slammed her head into the tile floor, knocking her unconscious, she said.
When she awoke, the victim fled to a family member’s home, who took her to a hospital.
Arroyo Grande police officers arrested Petetit a few days later.
Following the assault, the victim warned a CalCoastNews reporter that Petetit had talked of hiring a hit man to curtail reporting on his and Belsher’s relationship with San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill.
In 2012, Belsher and Petetit created multiple development companies. By 2015, their development portfolio included more than a dozen projects.
Multiple affiliates of Belsher and Petetit claim Hill worked as a paid consultant for the developers working to promote their projects. Even though Hill identifies himself on documents filed with the state as the “managing member” of a limited liability corporation tied to Belsher and Petetit, Hill has repeatedly denied that he works with the developers.
Petetit is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 17.