Lemon Grove (CA) Councilmember David Arambula has been accused of violently attacking a medical marijuana dispensary applicant.
As reported by the Candid Chronicle, Chris Williams claims he was hit on the head with a champagne bottle, as well as punched, kicked, strangled, and bitten by Councilmember Arambula during a late-night altercation. During the attack Williams sustained a laceration to his eyebrow, contusions to the back and front of his head, a concussion, a fractured right rib, and multiple bites to his forearm. Williams was treated at Alvarado Hospital Emergency Room for the injuries.
On January 11 an assault claim was filed to Lemon Grove on behalf of Williams. The claim includes damages due to pain, suffering, lost work, and medical costs.
On February 20, the Lemon Grove City Council met in a closed session to review the assault claim, and decided to formally deny that the assault ever happened.
“I have never called the police in my life”, says Williams. “That’s not exactly something you’re comfortable doing where I’m from. There was a lot at stake. I wondered what would people say, what would people do, what if people didn’t believe me, and how would the city of Lemon Grove retaliate against my applications for speaking out?”
The alleged incident occurred on July 14, 2017. According to the Candid Chronicle, “Williams was invited to David Arambula’s home for a business meeting concerning his dispensary applications. Mayor Racquel Vasquez was present at the gathering at some point as well.” Williams says he did not provoke the attack nor did he strike or attempt to strike Arambula during the attack. When asked, Williams claimed he still did not know Arambula’s motive for the unexpected assault.
“I thought he had been in a car accident when he got home, I saw blood all over his face and open wounds”, says Kathleen McLean, William’s wife. “I had no choice but to drive him to the hospital.”
McLean took Williams to Alvarado Hospital Emergency Room, where he received a cat scan, stitches, and a tetanus shot.
“This has been a grueling process, both physically and emotionally”, says Williams. “I will share the whole truth including photos, text messages, videos, emails at the appropriate time.”
The alleged assault isn’t the first accusation Councilmember Arambula has faced. In May 2017, a restraining order was requested against David Arambula by his former employer Dorinna Hirsch, who claimed to have received violent threats from Arambula. “He screamed that he would destroy my business and ‘mess me up’ if I crossed him”, said Hirsch.
Dorinna Hirsch told Candid Chronicle that she is afraid of David Arambula because she believes he has psychological problems. Hirsch describes Arambula as a “psychological terror,” who she has seen go into a “manic rage.”
“I don’t think its a phase that David’s going through. I’ve known him for twenty years. He does have a violent temper, it’s just that it’s coming out more.” She notes that she believes the assault on Williams did happen, adding “I know this man [David Arambula] and I know his temperament. I know he is so capable of doing this.”
Hirsch says she knows of at least four other instances where Arambula “blew up” on people. “He’s not a good guy, and it took me many years to see that.”
David Arambula did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Mayor Racquel Vasquez.