SAN LUIS OBISPO — A California police chief whose personal handgun was taken after she left it in a restaurant bathroom will be disciplined but will keep her job.
The San Luis Obispo city manager says Police Chief Deanna Cantrell will have a one-time pay reduction of about $1,600, must undergo firearm safety training and must talk to all members of her department about the incident and lessons learned.
Cantrell left her gun in an El Pollo Loco on July 10 but quickly announced it was missing via a YouTube video .
The gun was later returned by a man who said he found it in the bathroom.
City Manager Derek Johnson says Cantrell handled the situation with integrity and he still has confidence in her leadership.
Skeeter Carlos Mangan, 30, of Los Osos, took the weapon Cantrell had left behind, authorities said.
In a video posted to the Police Department’s Facebook page, Cantrell apologized for leaving her gun behind after a lunch break Wednesday.
Cantrell said she removed her gun, which was in a holster, and placed it next to her while using the bathroom. She left, but says she realized her mistake “within minutes.”
When she returned to the restaurant, the gun was gone. The chief said she immediately reviewed video from the restaurant and saw that three people went into the bathroom after she did — Mangan, a boy and another man, police said.
“My actions were irresponsible and dangerous, and I’m so grateful that, after our preliminary investigation, a child didn’t find [the gun],” Cantrell said. “I was complacent, and that’s something you can never be with a firearm.”