Santa Barbara- S County

Feud between Solvang neighbors escalates with an arrest

Founder of Animal Rescue Team accused of stalking

SOLVANG, Calif. - The head of the Animal Rescue Team (ART) in Solvang is in a legal battle with neighbors that has escalated with her arrest.

Julie DiSieno was taken into custody Monday night for violating a criminal protective order filed in December by her neighbors, Mary and Rich Nohr. DiSieno was released from custody Tuesday morning.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's officials confirm the violation was linked to firearms DiSieno failed to turn in, as required by the court.

The criminal protective order stemmed from accusations of stalking and criminal threats.

NewsChannel 3 reached out to both parties Tuesday.

When asked by phone if an arrest was excessive or justified, Mary Nohr said she "believed her [DiSieno] arrest needed to happen."

Nohr said DiSieno did not threaten with a "real weapon," but made a machine gun sound with her voice and said something to the effect of, "I'm going to take you down."  

DiSieno told NewsChannel 3 that she has never stalked nor physically threatened the Nohrs and accused the couple of ongoing harassment and intimidation, including placing cameras toward her property and home.

Both DiSieno and Nohr agreed that problems first came about when ART first moved into the Carriage Drive neighborhood in 2009 with a number of wild and domestic animals being rehabbed.

Nohr said noise from rescued coyotes on the property, howling when sirens went by, triggered the first complaints. Over the years, the relationship between the two neighbors has deteriorated and the feud has escalated.

ART is now permitted to rehab smaller animals only.

DiSieno is scheduled to appear in court later this month.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office put out the following statement regarding this case:

In December, 2017 Julia Di Sieno was formally charged by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office with the Penal Code Violations of 422 - Criminal Threats & PC 646.9 - Stalking.  As a result, Di Sieno was issued a Criminal Protective Order pursuant to PC 136.2, which was ordered and served on 12-22-2017.

Per the Criminal Protective Order, Di Sieno was ordered to surrender ALL firearms and ammunition which are subject to her immediate possession, within 24 hours after being served with the Criminal Protective Order, deeming her a prohibited person.  Per the Protective Order, Di Sieno had 48 hours to file a receipts to the court showing she surrendered ALL firearm and ammunition belonging to her.

On 2-2-2018, SBSO Patrol Deputies, assigned to the Santa Ynez Valley, responded for a report of Criminal Protective Order violation, allegedly perpetrated by Di Sieno towards the listed “Protected Persons” noted on the Protective Order.  Based on the Deputies investigation, Di Sieno was in fact believed to have violated the Protection Order and the case was ultimately forwarded to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office requesting criminal charges be brought forth against Di Sieno. 

Detectives with the Santa Barbara County Special Investigations Bureau began conducting an investigation. During their investigation, it was learned there were no indications that Di Sieno had surrendered her registered firearms / ammunition which was ordered by the court pursuant to the Criminal Protective Order therefore, a search warrant was sought and granted based on the probable cause that Di Sieno was in violation of the Criminal Protective Order.  

On Monday, 2-5-2018, Detectives with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau conducted the warrant service at Di Sieno's residence, located in the Santa Ynez Valley.  As a result of the warrant service, numerous firearms were located along with a copious amount of ammunition of various calibers throughout Di Sieno’s residence.  

Based on the findings, Di Sieno was found in  violation of California Penal Codes 166.4 - Violation of a Court Order & PC 29825(b) - A Prohibited Person Possessing Firearms in Conjunction of Restraining Order and  PC 22210 - Illegal Possession of Baton / Lead Cane. 

As a result, Di Sieno was arrested based on the aforementioned California Penal Code violations and booked into the Santa Barbara County Main Jail, without incident.


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