A San Diego Superior Court judge granted a workplace restraining order April 28 against a man a National City councilwoman says has her “afraid for my safety.”
Attorney Arlene Prater, on behalf of the city of National City and councilwoman Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, in April asked for a restraining against Geoffrey Schrock, 43, who in court documents was described as exhibiting harassing and menacing behavior toward Soelo-Solis and National City Chamber of Commerce President Jacqueline Reynoso.
Sotelo-Solis said the restraining order was finally issued after years of threats and harassment.
“So there was an incident on April 1 but for me my interactions have been over the course of the last four years basically,” Sotelo-Solis said in an interview.
The April 1 incident occurred during a City Council meeting where, according to court documents, Schrock was “angrily heckling” Sotelo-Solis from the back of the council chambers while making vulgar comments and pointing directly at her.
Sotelo-Solis said that Schrock called her a “puppet” during his tirade. Schrock’s aggression, tone and angry comments continued after the council meeting as Sotelo-Solis tried to exit through a private exit, she states in court records.
Schrock stood in the doorway and continued to verbally harass Sotelo-Solis while gesturing wildly.
“It’s not the words alone that made me fearful, but the words coupled with his hand gestures and facial expressions that were directed at me,” she wrote.
According to the court order, Schrock is believed to be a transient.
Mayor Ron Morrison said Schrock may have psychological issues but that a restraining order is not warranted.
“The individual is one that I’m aware that certainly has issues or whatever, but we have a lot of people like that within the community,” he said.
“The problem is how do you deal with them?”
The mayor said he’s known Schrock since 2006 and that Schrock helped him during his campaign for mayor and helped with civic projects in the city.
Reynoso filed an application for a temporary restraining order against Schrock because of an incident during the chamber’s March 15 Mariachi Fest.
Reynoso said Schrock laid hands on her at the event when she asked he be removed from the VIP section because he wasn’t allowed to sit in that section.
“Because he assaulted me, he did grab me and made a threat against me,” Reynoso said in an interview. “He said ‘you better watch your back’”
Morrison said he did not see Schrock grabbing Reynoso.
“There was no contact whatsoever,” he said. “I’ve heard reports (of what) Jacqueline has said. he was grabbing her or whatever. No, I was right there.”
After Schrock was removed from the festival, National City police believe Schrock called in a false bomb threat. Silva said the order protecting Sotelo-Solis is valid for three years.
Reynoso is protected for one year.
Under the order, Schrock must stay 100-yards away from Sotelo-Solis and 100-yards away from City Hall, essentially banning him from city council meetings when Sotelo-Solis is present.