Acquitted Robert Brians Intends to Sue City, Sheriff

Brians was accused of threatening a code enforcement officer who took pictures into his neighbor's yard. He said he now intends to file a counter lawsuit against the city and the sheriff's department.

Robert Brians, who was accused of threatening city employee Tommy Simmons, was found not guilty on all charges in a South County courthouse last Friday.

Following the not guilty verdict, Brians said he intends to file a harassment lawsuit against the city of Imperial Beach and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

"I finally started breathing again," said Brians on Friday after the 8-day trial ended.  "My attorney wouldn't let me take the stand because I don't talk very nicely."

If Brians was convicted of making criminal threats and threatening a public officer charges, he would have faced a $10,000 fine and up to four years in prison, said Steve Walker with the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.

Last July, Simmons was photographed by Brians standing in the back of a city truck taking pictures into his neighbors yard.

"I've got a teenage daughter and you've got 15 girls down there playing in bikinis. You don't want some bastard looking over the fence," Brians told IB Patch last July.

Simmons was in the alley to take pictures of possible code compliance violations in Martin Cronk's yard. After he was approached by Brians, Simmons said he felt his life was in danger, claiming Brians said things like he was going to "wring his neck like a chicken" and "I'm going to break your legs."

A day after the incident, the city of Imperial Beach filed a restraining order but it was not be served until nearly a week later when Brians was arrested by several San Diego County Sheriff's Department deputies on his way to work.

A judge ordered that Brians remain 100 feet away from Simmons and his place of work at City Hall. The only exception is attending City Council meetings, where sheriff's deputies would frisk Brians for weapons before entering Council Chambers.

Brians said the year was tough since the initial restraining order was filed by attorneys on the city's behalf. He said there were multiple trips to court, his wife Kristen Brians was diagnosed with colon cancer and he still has trouble finding consistent work.

The restraining order from the city was not Brians' first. In 2009, a restraining order was filed by Brians' neighbor John Harrington who claims he was threatened multiple times for throwing bird feed in the street and attracting pigeons. 

In defense, several of Brians' neighbors , which said they found Brians to be a good father, and a good and caring neighbor.

But more recently, in January 2012 Mario Olmos, coach of the IB Predators Junior Wrestling team and Mar Vista High School wrestling team, filed a restraining order against Brians for harassment. One of Brians' sons wrestles for the team.

"He was basically using abusive language in front of kids, yelling at the coaches, calling them names, saying he was going to get them fired," Olmos said. "He did it a couple of times in front of kids and coaches, and so a police officer at Mar Vista was told to do an investigation on it."

The Mar Vista School Resource Deputy Joe Barry believed Brians wanted to harm him, Olmos said, and recommended he get a restraining order. In February, a three-year restraining order was approved by a judge.

Brians said he doesn't deny he called IB Predators' coaches names, but claims his son was discriminated against and not allowed to wrestle for his father's actions. 

Fayette (Davis) Driskell June 19, 2012 at 06:22 PM
no, dear..you have it wrong on this one..the reason prisoners are "doing the work", is to help pay for their board & room, (which means living expenses that include the bed/cot they sleep on, the food they eat, the razors they use, the soap they bathe with, the electricity used to watch "big" screen t.v.'s(to which a regular citizen cannot afford),the water used, & the list goes on..CA adopted the "Prisoner Work Program" many years ago..many states have followed.. too bad more towns/cities don't join the bandwagon. If they did NOT use the prisoners to do certain jobs, to help pay their expenses, your parents, your family members, me & mine, & you if you are old enough to have a job or you do have one, would be "supporting" them with taxes..so, no, its NOT because the City workers are "lazy", its because those who have made VERY POOR CHOICES with their life get to PAY BACK a portion of their own expenses...thank you IB for carrying out a well-needed program....
Ron Jamison and Yes that is my real name June 19, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Fayette, you forget to mention that these people who work on these streets are the people in prison on good behavior and low case offenders while the molesters and the murderers are still using the room and board for free without helping out the city. I agree with Fred though and I dont believe the issue was a debate on the prisioners who work for the city rather than the City of IB was a joke for even taking this guy to trial in the first place.
Jordan June 19, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Robert I hope you sue the city and win. Then you can build a real skatepark instead of wasting the money of people who donated and not have a prison fence around it like we are criminals.
ibcalif June 19, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I'd like my one hundred dollars back.
IB Local June 20, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Not a jerk, Not a Threat, not a Bully & Nor a deusch bag..... Great Father, Husband, Son, Family man & Youth Sports Coach who`s world was turned upside down over the last year. His whole family has gone through a gluttony of turmoil than most families would up root over. It`s really a shame that people can judge opinions without knowing him. Fact is that Robert speaks his mind like it or not. He witnessed city worker "Peeping Tom" standing on the bed of the city work truck taking pictures of someones private back yard. He called him out on that! Good, Thank you Robert! We need more people in our society to do the same & not turn backs on situations that need to be exposed. He called out a wrestling coach who`s actions were questionable. There is no crime in that. The only crime is that his son is no longer wrestling. Very sad that a coach was actually convinced to file a Restraining Order by one of the arresting officers in the city case. Reality is that Robert stood up to the City of Imperial Beach. The only Bully`s in this case. They got caught wrong doing. They tried to strong arm him in hopes he would back down & he didn`t. He is now Acquitted. What a waste of city money & time. Parting note: If the city is really concerned on how our fenced in private back yards look, Maybe they should start by looking at all the fenced in weeds on 9th & Palm. Thank you Khari for writing this article & Thank you Robert for standing up for our rights!


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