Tobin James founder charged for shooting neighbor’s golf cart

Tobin James Shumrick

By CCT STAFF

San Luis Obispo County prosecutors have filed charges against the founder of Paso Robles winery Tobin James Cellars for allegedly shooting the wheels of a neighbor’s golf cart and vandalizing his truck during a violent confrontation last October. [New Times]

Winemaker Tobin James Shumrick, 62, has pleaded not guilty to charges of felony shooting at an occupied vehicle, misdemeanor vandalism and misdemeanor hit-and-run. Shumrick claims to have acted in self-defense and that his winery was under attack by an out-of-control neighbor with an extensive criminal history.

On Oct. 2, Gabriel David Canaday, 41, was driving a golf cart on Tobin James Cellars property on Union Road. Shumrick used a shotgun to shoot out the tires of the golf cart, according to the SLO County District Attorney’s Office.

Shumrick then intentionally damaged Canaday’s truck, a criminal complaint states. No one suffered injuries during either of the incidents.

The following day, sheriff’s deputies arrived at the property and arrested Shumrick after he reportedly admitting to shooting the golf cart.

Gabriel Canaday

Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla said Shumrick told deputies Canaday had been trespassing on winery property numerous times over the few months leading up to the incident.

Jere Sullivan, an attorney for Tobin James Cellars, said Shumrick acted in self defense and his actions were necessary. Over several months, Canaday repeatedly trespassed on winery property and harassed and intimidated Tobin James employees and patrons, Sullivan said.

In the middle of 2019, Canaday was trespassing on winery property on a near-daily basis and sometimes at night. At times, he used his car to block employees from leaving the parking lot. Canaday also fired weapons from his property, made vague threats and accused the winery of hiding members of his family, Sullivan said.

Everyone was terrified of Canaday, Sullivan said. Some employees quit over his actions, and others threatened to quit.

Canaday’s property and the winery face each other across Union Road. Over a two-year period, the sheriff’s office received 43 calls for service to the two properties. 

According to the sheriff’s office, Canaday has been arrested 18 times since April 2019. Most of the arrests were on warrants for violating restraining orders and failing to appear in court. Canaday is also accused of harassing his ex-wife and threatening to kill a local man.

In late October, following the shooting and Shumrick’s arrest, Tobin James Cellars filed for a restraining order against Canaday in an attempt to protect its 66 employees. After the restraining order was granted, Canaday allegedly violated it by texting winery staffers and continuing to trespass on the property.

Canaday is currently in San Luis Obispo County Jail, where he has been in custody since Nov. 15.

On that day, a sheriff’s deputy attempted to arrest Canaday during a traffic stop. Canaday fled on Highway 46, prompting a chase that concluded when he returned to his Union Road home, where deputies arrested him with help from a CHP helicopter.

Canaday underwent a psychiatric evaluation and was found competent to stand trial. He then pleaded no contest to resisting arrest and evading an officer. 

On Jan. 28, a judge sentenced Canaday to five months in county jail. 

The sheriff’s office website, though, shows Canaday’s projected release date is Feb. 28.

Following his own arrest, Shumrick posted $250,000 bail. A preliminary hearing in Shumrick’s case is scheduled for Feb. 25.

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