Fundraiser hostess arrested after melee

June 28, 2009 at 11:33 AM
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ENCINTAS, Calif., June 28 (UPI) -- Sheriff's deputies busted a congressional candidate's fundraiser in the San Diego area on a noise complaint, nabbing the hostess for battery and obstruction.

Shari Barman, 60, who was booked and released in the Saturday incident, is to appear in court in August on charges of suspicion of obstructing a peace officer and battery on a peace officer, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Sunday.

The Encintas, Calif., fundraiser -- a catered affair that included valet parking but no music or entertainment -- was to support Francine Busby's 2010 congressional bid.

Busby, who spoke at the private reception, said the event was "no different" from hundreds of parties and fundraisers that she has attended -- except the ending.

Deputies were called to the home after a neighbor called to complain about the loud noise, sheriff's Sgt. Chuck Yancey said. Deputies returned a second time when the noise hadn't abated and asked for Barman's birthdate to complete paperwork on noise complaints. She refused and things went downhill.

When deputies tried to arrest Barman, attendees managed to separate her from the deputies, the sheriff's office said. Pepper spray was used to disperse the crowd -- estimated between 30-50 by deputies but lower by Busby's office -- and deputies reached the hostess again.

At one point, a person refused to release Barman's leg so the deputy could take her away, the newspaper reported. Barman also allegedly punched the deputy.

"I have never seen anything like it," Busby, a Democrat, said. "Most of the people were stunned."

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