After multiple speakers personalized their comments with references to Mayor Marico Sayoc’s son during public comments at the Oct. 5 regularly scheduled Town Council meeting, some attendees became disruptive. The mayor ordered a short break.

As a group of coronavirus-restriction questioners and Conservative-leaning citizens filtered out to the vestibule, the mayor’s husband suddenly burst into the Town facility.

“Hey, hey, hey, you worthless piece of s***!” he shouted, in the direction of one of the speakers, Cyndi Sheehan, who was wearing a black and white Trump shirt. “Don’t ever talk about my son again! Ever! You worthless piece of s***!”

Sheehan told the Los Gatan there had previously been a dispute between their sons.

Cyndi Sheehan is ordered out of Council Oct. 5 after Mayor Marico Sayoc called for a break in proceedings. (Photo by Drew Penner / Los Gatan).

Democracy Tent meeting facilitator Lee Fagot attended the meeting and said some community members have referenced Sayoc’s employment as executive director of the social service organization Counselling & Support Services for Youth (CASSY) in attacking her.

One woman’s sign read: “Recall the marxist MAYOR SAYOC MUST GO!”

A protester holds a provocative signs as a break in Council proceedings is called Oct. 5. Another removed his mask. (Photo by Drew Penner / Los Gatan)

“That company (CASSY) has contracted with several schools in the area to provide social and psychological support to students,” Fagot said, adding this has extended to their families during the pandemic. “Now what’s happened is her son has been targeted at the high school because they know that his mother, Marico, is running a company that is trying to help students who are having social and emotional issues. So they go after him.”

One attendee said she’s been told Sayoc’s son has been organizing a “hate group,” although when asked if this might just be a social justice club, the woman said she wasn’t sure.

“They’re targeting conservative kids,” the woman said, adding she came to this belief “just from listening to the other people.”

During the mayor’s husband’s unhinged episode, he accused protesters of additional harassing behavior.

The mayor’s husband burst into the vestibule outside Council Chambers, Oct. 5, to clash with protesters, after speakers brought up details of their family life during public comment. (Photo by Drew Penner / Los Gatan)

“Did you tell everybody about driving by our house late at night blasting shit?” he shouted. “Who was it? Who was it? Who was it?”

The mayor helped police restrain her husband. She appeared distraught as she pleaded, “Please, please, please!”

“Don’t ever talk about my son again! Ever! You worthless piece of s***!” the mayor’s husband exclaimed in the direction of public commenters outside Council Chambers, Oct. 5. (Photo by Drew Penner / Los Gatan).

He continued to try to approach the protesters. Eventually, she got him to leave the building and sat with him on a bench in the park outside.

A police cruiser arrived with backup support, and an officer went over to speak with the mayor and her husband.

An officer walks over to speak with the mayor and her husband following his outburst. (Photo by Drew Penner / Los Gatan).

Sheehan told the Los Gatan she plans to press charges against him.

When the meeting resumed, there were no public commenters to speak about the policing issues that had originally raised the stakes of the meeting in the first place.

(Screenshot from the Oct. 5 Council agenda)

Nine people had written to council to address the “pubic safety crisis” [sic] in the police department.

On Wednesday, Town Attorney Rob Schultz said no charges had been filed against anyone involved, although police are still investigating.

Schultz said it isn’t clear whether public commenters are allowed to discuss an elected official’s family member during open Council, although he’s reviewing a Los Angeles City Council incident where a member of the public was prevented from speaking.

“My feeling is yes, you’re not allowed to because it has nothing to do with Town business,” he said. “There hasn’t really been any case law.”

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Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected]