This story is almost too strange to be true. A California homeless man named Steven Seeley has been living in an abandoned hotel across the street from the Governor’s mansion. Earlier this month, Seeley became concerned he was going to be attacked by a wild cat he heard growling in a nearby dumpster. Was there actually a wild cat in the dumpster? KCRA 3 reports, “Though he’s never been diagnosed with a mental illness, Seeley admits he sometimes hears things, but didn’t want to take any chances in case the roar came from a legitimate threat.”
Seeley ran to the mansion assuming the door would be open. In a jailhouse interview, he said he figured California Governor Jerry Brown is “an open-door policy kind of guy.” It’s not clear if that’s a reference to an office policy or to the Governor’s support for sanctuary state policy. Either way, it turned out Seeley was right. A side door to the mansion was open and he walked inside. Gov. Brown wasn’t home at the time but California’s First Lady was upstairs. Seeley says he entered the house and called out “Jerry!” but no one responded.
At that point, he began to hear the growling of the wild animal again and hid in a closet. At some point, he felt trapped in the closet and decided his best means of escape was to dive though a window. He did that but managed to cut his arm, either on the window or on the fence as he ran from the mansion. A passerby saw him and took him to the hospital where his injuries were treated. Police confirmed parts of Seeley’s story. From KCRA 3:
CHP confirms that a man who was “behaving erratically” trespassed inside the mansion.
“The Governor was not present and the First Lady was on an upper floor of the residence when the incident occurred and had no contact with the subject,” CHP Spokesperson Fran Clader said in a statement.
The mansion has a “robust” onsite security presence 24/7, according to Clader…
CHP confirms a window was broken on the first floor of the home. In addition to trespassing, Seeley was also charged with felony vandalism and a probation violation after being treated at a local hospital for injuries suffered while jumping out of the window.
The strangest part of all of this may be that Seeley says he never encountered a guard or police officer on the grounds of the mansion or inside, despite calling out and expecting to run into someone. When asked by KCRA, police refused to say if they had any contact with him prior to his subsequent arrest in the hospital two days later.
It seems incredible that a door to the Governor’s mansion would be left open and that, having entered the door, no one was around to confront Seeley leaving him to wander around and then dive through a window. Here’s another possibility. Maybe Seeley broke into the mansion through a window, then walked around and, at some point, ran away, either back through the window or exiting via a door. I’m sure police have looked at all of this. It doesn’t seem that they’ve charged him with breaking and entering, only vandalism, so maybe his strange story is true. Here he is telling his version of events from jail.