A man calling himself "Mr. Watchdog" was escorted out of Carlsbad City Council chambers on June 22 after hurling expletives at the mayor and council members during public comment.
Mr. Watchdog was the first citizen to address the council. He claimed that Carlsbad police are harassing homeless people, especially those living in their vehicles. He asserted that police accuse the homeless of camping illegally when, in fact, they're trying to keep a roof over their heads.
"It's called housing...sheltering, living, surviving. What don't we get?" he yelled. He called the police department's behavior in dealing with the matter "despicable." He referred to an incident in which he witnessed police officers ticket a couple that was living in an RV with their children.
Mr. Watchdog didn't get much further on this point after saying the policing approach was "bullsh-t." Mayor Claude "Bud" Lewis interrupted. A courtroom officer approached the speaker and stood next to him. "I have three minutes. What is this? Show me the law that says cussing is illegal," he yelled as the officer escorted him out. "You're done," said Lewis, to which Mr. Watchdog responded, "Okay, another lawsuit. Thank you." As he was led out, he said "f--- you" multiple times.
The next speaker commended the council’s efforts to address unpermitted RV parking. He called the prevention of RV parking on Carlsbad Boulevard north of Tamarack "a step in the right direction." Gesturing toward the exit, he said that Mr. Watchdog was an example of the type of people camping overnight on Carlsbad streets.
According to the Carlsbad Police Department, an outside company handles traffic and parking violations and therefore has no statistics or records on how many people have been cited or ticketed for overnight parking.
Police sirens could be heard from within the chambers, but according to a follow-up with police, Mr. Watchdog was not arrested.
Update: In a follow-up interview, "Mr. Watchdog" said he's not homeless, has been involved with the ACLU for seven years, and is recruiting people to speak up at the Carlsbad City Council meetings, at which he will present himself each week they are in session (unless he is barred altogether). He thinks the permit requirement could be good if it's a nominal fee. He plans to sue for being thrown out of the meeting.