Winery owner threatens SLO County district attorney

Tobin James Shumrick

By KAREN VELIE

Paso Robles winemaker Tobin James Shumrick has run a four-week-long series of ads targeting San Luis Obispo District Attorney Dan Dow’s reelection. Shumrick accuses Dow and SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson of not doing enough to protect his family, his employees and himself during six months of harassment from a neighbor, David Canaday.

“Hey Dan Dow, Are you getting ready for your re election?” Shumrick wrote in a Feb. 22 email. “I am too you corrupt Mother Fucker. I’m looking forward to telling everyone who you really are. You’re a fucking lying criminal. We’re going to see how you like being stalked you little bitch. You better raise more money for you’re campaign you are going to need it. I’m going to make sure everyone in the county knows what a fucking coward piece of shit you are. Go fuck yourself Dan.”

Beginning on March 10, Shumrick began running weekly full page ads in the SLO New Times asking people not to vote for Dow. Shumrick is aware that no one is running against Dow, Shumrick said.

“We were not protected and I am fighting back,” Shumrick said. “This is about what the county didn’t do: They didn’t protect us.”

Starting in 2019, Canaday trespassed on Tobin James Winery property on a regular basis, Shumrick said. At times, he used his car to block employees from leaving the parking lot. Canaday also made vague threats and accused the winery of hiding or holding hostage his estranged wife and children.

Over a six-month period, the sheriff’s office received more than 30 calls for service to the winery and Canaday’s home. Some winery employees quit and others threatened to quit over the harassment.

Deputies arrested Canaday 18 times for issues with harassment and trespassing, but each time Canaday was released from jail and back at Tobin James Winery threatening staff, Shumrick said.

In some cases, prosecutors charged Canaday with violating restraining orders, all misdemeanors, in which Canaday was eventually sentenced to 180 days in jail. In March, a judge sentenced Canaday to 120 days in the county jail on a probation violation: being a felon in possession of ammunition and a stun gun. Canaday is slated to start his sentence on June 4.

Shumrick was arrested in Oct. 2019 under California Penal Code, § 246, which makes it a felony to shoot at an occupied vehicle or inhabited house. The charge was reduced to misdemeanor vandalism and Shumrick was sentenced to one day in jail.

Shumrick also accuses a sheriff’s deputy of falsifying part of the arrest report of the shooting.

Shumrick told Deputy Brent Dugan he shot at the golf cart in self defense. Shumrick shot from the driver’s side of the golf cart, which was about 10 feet away, according to the incident report.

On Oct. 10, 2019, Dugan added to his incident report for clarification, writing that Shumrick “purposely fired at the tires of the golf cart to scare Canaday…,” a supplemental Shumrick claims is falsification of a report.

“Shumrick used a shotgun, which fires multiple projectiles at one time,” Dugan writes in the supplemental report. “Due to these factors, I determined his actions were in wanton disregard for Canaday’s safety.”

A month later, on Nov. 15, 2019, an officer arrested Canaday for attempting to flee from an officer and for violently resisting arrest. Canaday was sentenced to 210 days in jail.

In his first ad, Shumrick accuses Dow of protecting law enforcement and not the public. The ad focuses on Chris McGuire, a Paso Robles officer accused of rape who Dow’s office declined to prosecute. His second ad accuses Sheriff Parkinson of lying about the death of an inmate, Andrew Holland.

Holland, a SLO County Jail inmate, 36, died in 2017 of a pulmonary embolism after being strapped in a restraint chair, with his legs and arms shackled, for more than 46 hours. He had been denied access to the county mental health facility.

Shumrick’s ads may draw the attention of the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

Even though state laws require that ad purchases related to a candidate that cost over $1,000 include the name of the party or committee which purchased the ad, the SLO New Times’ ads all say, “Paid for by a private SLO County resident.” According to a SLO New Times rate sheet, the ads run over $1,600 each.

“Clear and accurate disclosure is key to making voters aware of who is paying for political messages so they can evaluate the content and make informed decisions at the ballot box,” according to the California Fair Political Practices Commission. “In California, the true source of an independent expenditure must be disclosed and may not be hidden.”

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