An Atascadero man has been convicted of making criminal threats to light fire to a bartender and to a local watering hole after he was 86’d for bothering a female customer.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, on March 17 a jury convicted Kellen John Clarke, 59 of Atascadero of a felony for verbally threatening to light fire on a bartender working at Sweet Springs Saloon in Downtown Los Osos.
The incident happened Dec. 16, 2021 after Clarke was ejected from “Sweetie’s” (as it is called in Los Osos) “for insulting a female customer,” the news release said. “Clarke returned to the bar holding a gas can and made a verbal threat to light the bartender and the bar on fire. Clarke then walked to a gas station directly across the street, where he was observed filling the can with gasoline. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on scene and intercepted Clarke as he walked with the gas can back toward the bartender and the saloon.”
“We are grateful to our local residents who performed their civic duty of jury service,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “Our criminal and victim justice system would not work without conscientious community members doing their part.”
At the time of the incident, Clarke was on “post release community supervision” (probation) after serving a sentence for a felony drunk driving conviction in 2020, the news release said.
Clarke is scheduled to be sentenced on April 4 before Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen. The case was investigated by the County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Scott Hunter assigned to the Adult Prosecutions Unit.