Autistic teen's family moves from Carpenteria to San Diego to escape 'fear and hatred'

SAN DIEGO - The family of an autistic teen from Carpenteria moved to San Diego’s north county to escape what the 19-year-old’s mother called a “climate of fear and hatred”.

Debra Hosseini told 10News that climate got even more intense after the Isla Vista shooting rampage last month. Carpenteria is just 20 miles from Isla Vista.

The Hosseini family’s problems began in November when Kevin Hosseini was in a hospital. During that hospital stay, his mother said he had some problems with his medications and began making threats against several people, including one of his special education teachers and a classmate.

“It was pretty explicit,” teacher Cindy Rief told a reporter from KEYT in Santa Barbara. “Kevin was going to bring a knife to school, stab me, two assistants, a student in my class, then go to the high school, stab another teacher and then shoot himself.”

Rief filed a restraining order in civil court claiming she fears for her life if Hosseini returns to the school district where she works.

Debra Hosseini claims the lawsuit was filed in retaliation for a teacher harassment claim she filed against Rief two years ago.

The case goes to court later this month.

The Isla Vista shooting rampage, planned and carried out by a man with health issues, raised concerns from others in Carpenteria about whether Hosseini was capable of something similar.

Hosseini told 10News a small group in the community is trying to “demonize” Kevin by launching a campaign against him and others who are developmentally challenged.

When asked whether she blames people for their fears, Hosseini said not at all.  “People aren’t getting the whole story.  They see this bloody mayhem picture over and over” on television, “and so it registers deep in people’s hearts, this fear, and when you have fear in your heart, it closes out compassion.”

Hosseini says the community in San Diego’s north county is more tolerant of people with life challenges, but asked 10News not to reveal where her family is now living as a precaution.

Kevin Hosseini is due back in court June 16.  If the civil suit isn’t settled by then, a trial date will likely be set.

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