'Prophet' is back on street
Popular transient who was in confrontation with police is back in Lake Forest, on probation.
By SALVADOR HERNANDEZ
The Orange County Register
LAKE FOREST – Weeks after he was involved in a violent confrontation with police, a well-known transient known as "The Prophet" has been seen in the same area where deputies used Tasers, batons and beanbag shots to restrain the 265-pound man. Charles Barnes, 49, was released two weeks after police said the 6-foot, 6-inch-tall man took several items from a CVS Pharmacy near the intersection of El Toro Road and Rockfield Boulevard.
When Orange County sheriff's deputies arrived to the area June 20, Barnes was wearing what appeared to be body armor constructed from pieces of traffic cones, magazines, plastics, and a hubcap strapped to his chest.
Barnes threw a bottle at officers as they arrived, said Lt. Don Barnes, chief of police services for Lake Forest. Officers used Tasers and beanbag shots to subdue "The Prophet," but they had little effect because of the layers of clothing and material strapped to his body, Lt. Barnes said.
Officers said Barnes grabbed one deputy's Taser and officers used batons to subdue him and force him to let go of it. When the popular transient was taken into custody, he was taken to a local hospital with cuts, bruises and what may have been a broken hand, Lt. Barnes said.
"The Prophet" was booked for robbery, but not for resisting arrest, Lt. Barnes said. "That was probably a decision that was made on the field by the deputies," he said. Charges were not filed by the District Attorney's Office regarding that incident.
Barnes remains on three years' probation from an earlier charge of obstructing and intimidating a business and customers, which occurred June 4. Court records show that Barnes was arrested May 7 as well, and charged with resisting a police officer and obstructing and intimidating a business and customers. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years' probation in that case.
"Our goal is to make sure the community is safe," said Lt. Barnes. "We just don't want to have another confrontation like we had last time."