TO: INTERESTED PERSONS
FROM: CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE
DATE: NOVEMBER 7, 2001
RE: ROBERT THOMAS NORTHCUTT
The recent press release entitled "Decorated Vietnam Vet Arrested Guarding War Memorial and American Flag in San Diego" contains several inaccuracies. The following information addresses some of the inaccuracies:
* The dog's aggressive manner prevents anyone, particularly children from approaching it. The City has received numerous complaints regarding the dog's aggressive behavior and has forwarded those complaints to San Diego County Animal Control.
* In May 2001, the dog bit someone who was walking along the public sidewalk.
* The dog is being held by San Diego County Animal Control. They will decide whether the dog can be returned to Mr. Northcutt.
* Mr. Northcutt frequented the memorial prior to the 9-11 terrorist attacks. There was no observable change in Mr. Northcutt's patterns after September 11.
* Mr. Northcutt was not responsible for raising and lowering the flag at the memorial. City personnel are responsible for the flag.
* Damage has occurred to public property as a result of Mr. Northcutt residing at various locations in the City.
* City Code Enforcement personnel were not present nor did they order that Mr. Northcutt be issued a citation.
* Mr. Northcutt was asked to leave the memorial site by Sheriff's deputies. Mr. Northcutt refused to leave and insisted on being issued a citation. Sheriff's deputies attempted to persuade Mr. Northcutt to leave the site, however, he continued to insist on receiving a citation.
* Mr. Northcutt was NOT arrested for trespassing on City property. In the process of issuing a citation Sheriff's deputies discovered that there were outstanding warrants on Mr. Northcutt. Mr. Northcutt was arrested based on the outstanding warrants.
* The City is primarily interested in ensuring that the dog does not harm anyone and that public property is not destroyed.
* The City is respectful of all citizens and has made special recognition of Veterans and active military personnel, including its participation in an "Adopt a Ship" program with the USS Fitzgerald DDG-62 and annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day services hosted jointly by the City and its local VFW post. Following the 9-11 attacks, Solana Beach was also one of the first cities in San Diego County to install patriotic banners along a major highway through the City.
They don't sound too happy about having to respond to the many emails and calls they must be receiving. I think this man and his dog are being treated like criminals, and the city officials protesteth too much.