Animal right activist Ryan Pease claimed he was protecting himself when he used a stun gun on a man at the La Jolla's Children's Pool.
The argument was about the seaweed wall activists built to protect the seals from ongoing harassment."He just reeked of alcohol and the way he was acting he was belligerent using foul language," Pease said.Activists blame that harassment for the premature birth and death of a baby seal on Sunday."It was absolutely self defense," Pease said.Police officials disagree."Mr. Pease was the aggressor. He's been charged with battery and assault with a stun gun," San Diego Police Department spokesman Dave Cohen said.Police also said the man Pease describes as a belligerent drunk is actually a stroke victim with slurred speech.This wasn't the first time Pease has been arrested for his animal activism, which he freely admits."I've been arrested a few times for trespassing. A few times for protest related activities," Pease said.
Pease is with a group called Animal Protection and Rescue League and some La Jolla residents believe Pease and his organization are only aggravating tensions at the beach."I didn't think it would get to this point but it has," resident Don Perry said.Perry said it's gotten so bad he and others are actually afraid, specifically of Pease."He approached me and said, 'If you hurt a seal you will be killed, it's a promise,'" Perry said.Pease denies threatening anyone and said his organization is about education."I'm a nonviolent activist. The times I have been arrested have been for nonviolent civil disobedience" Pease said.Pease said he plans to fight the charges in court.The APRL claims that its volunteers will keep up nightly patrols at the Children's Pool to protect the seals.