Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies arrested an 18-year-old Wednesday after she reportedly turned herself in on felony vandalism charges related to the Black Lives Matter street painting, marking the third arrest in connection to the incident.
Kori Tamondong, of Canyon Country, was arrested Wednesday morning on suspicion of defacing property and released nearly nine hours later, according to the station’s booking log.
Attorney David Barlavi, who is representing the three activists, went with Tamondong to the station where she turned herself in, he said Thursday.
“(Law enforcement) went to her house, but she wasn’t there; so, they told her mom to turn herself in and I went with her,” Barlavi said.
On June 19, deputies responded to reports of vandalism on Cinema Drive in Valencia, where they found “BLM” written in white paint across the street, costing the city more than $2,000 to remove.
The arrests sparked frustration among members of the community who have also questioned whether they were politically driven as the activists have voiced frustration against the City Council in previous public meetings, they have said.
Barlavi said he recently approached Mayor Pro Tem Bill Miranda in an effort to reimburse the city for street painting cleanup costs in exchange for help to drop the charges against the two activists who had been arrested at the time. Miranda confirmed he had spoken to Barlavi.
“Any time a citizen calls me, my first instinct is to help solve a problem and if solving a problem is within my realm of abilities, I sure will jump in to help, but there’s not a lot I can do in the middle of an investigation just because someone called me,” Miranda said. “It’s not in our hands now.”
Sheriff’s officials have said Career Offenders, Burglary, Robbery, Assault detectives continue to investigate the street painting incident.