OB Woman With Rx for Medical Pot Arrested When Firefighters Find Pot During Neighbor’s Fire

by on November 3, 2011 · 44 comments

in Ocean Beach, Popular

Lisa Dannielli being arrested. Photo by Howard Lipin.

It certainly would be the pits if upon arriving home to your unit in an OB apartment building, you’re barred from getting into it because there’s been a fire in an upstairs  apartment. And now you find out you’ll be displaced for awhile.

It would be even worst if you find out that a firefighter who came into your apartment to check on fire damage had also found marijuana.

But oh, you have a prescription for medical marijuana?

Doesn’t matter. You get arrested anyway because you got upset you couldn’t get into your apartment. You’re also charged with child endangerment.

Sound horrible? Well, it happened today in Ocean Beach to Larissa Danielli.

Larissa returned to her home on the 4800 block Cape May, an apartment building near Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. The firetrucks had been there, and when she approached her apartment – downstairs from the fire which was put out – she was blocked by San Diego police officers.

It did turn out that when a firefighter entered her place to check on fire damage, he went to use a cooler and found it was full of marijuana. Here is what the U-T reported:

Firefighters had gone into her home after the blaze was out to assess the damage and found water coming from an electric ceiling fan. One of them grabbed a cooler to collect the water and found it was full of marijuana.

When she insisted – the U-T reported that she “fought with police” – she was arrested for obstruction and child endangerment.  The U-T story does not go any further and there is no explanation of  the child-endangerment charge. Here is their version:

The resident then came home and demanded to be let inside her home. When an officer refused her entry due to the danger she fought with him, Brown said.  She was taken into custody on charges of obstruction and child endangerment.  She was identified as 31-year-old Larissa Danielli, Brown said. Danielli had a prescription for the marijuana, the lieutenant said.

Lisa had nothing to do with the fire.  But it seems like the entire situation could have been handled a whole lot better and arresting someone who is upset at the knowledge that her property has been damaged is not the answer.  Is this police over-reacting or is it both police over-reacting to a civilian who is also over-reacting?

Here is the full San Diego U-T story / SignOnSanDiego

An apartment building in Ocean Beach was damaged by a fire Thursday that was later determined to be accidental.

Firefighters were called to the El Dorado apartment complex on Cape May Avenue near Sunset Cliffs Boulevard at 11:40 a.m., Metro Arson Strike Team fire Captain Mike Merriken said.  When they arrived they found smoke coming from an upstairs unit at the two-story building, Merriken said.

Firefighters entered the apartment and found the kitchen on fire. The flames were quickly extinguished and contained to the kitchen, Merriken said.  Investigators determined that the fire was caused by plastic buckets that had been put on the stove.

The resident told investigators that he placed the containers there to warm them up and then forgot them and left. He was about five miles away when he realized what he had done and returned, Merriken said.  Damage to the unit as well as two below it that were damaged by water was estimated at about $85,000, Merriken said.

In a related incident, a woman who lives in one of those downstairs units was arrested after struggling with police, Lt. Andra Brown said.

Firefighters had gone into her home after the blaze was out to assess the damage and found water coming from an electric ceiling fan. One of them grabbed a cooler to collect the water and found it was full of marijuana, Brown said.

The resident then came home and demanded to be let inside her home. When an officer refused her entry due to the danger she fought with him, Brown said.  She was taken into custody on charges of obstruction and child endangerment.  She was identified as 31-year-old Larissa Danielli, Brown said. Danielli had a prescription for the marijuana, the lieutenant said.

And,  Channel 6 added this:

Firefighters worked quickly to knockdown an apartment fire in the 4800-block of Cape May Ave. in Ocean Beach Monday morning.   The fire started around 11:30 a.m. at the El Dorado Apartments.Investigators said the apartment was packed full of junk and other items.  The people living within the apartment will be displaced for a short time.

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Kenloc November 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm

So was she charged for having medicinal?The headline seems to say she was,but it isn’t listed as a reason for her arrest.


Danny Morales November 3, 2011 at 6:34 pm

Fucking Bummer-More collateral damage of the ‘War’ on Drugs. Speaking of which, when I actively became an enemy of the state Tim Mancusi told me that it was inevitable that I’d get burned or busted. Looks like Larissa D. got both. Let’s hope the legal system will answer the question; ‘But what about the children?’ – Danny 8>p


Gristmiller November 3, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Absolutely OUTRAGEOUS!


Lety November 3, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Don’t fall for the red herring (marijuana), people…. the lady sounds like she pitched a violent fit because they wouldn’t let her return to her apartment, and that’s what she got nabbed for. Where’s the note that she was charged for marijuana….there isn’t!

However, it sounds like police and fireman could have been more compassionate, so don’t think I’m pinning this all on the lady.


dave rice November 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I’m trying to figure out how attempting to access her home could be considered an act worthy of arrest…


OB Joe November 3, 2011 at 10:19 pm

dave – Supposedly she “fought police” so the lack of access caused her maybe to get pissed off enough to like push back against the cops. Or maybe she just insisted she be allowed into her place, and went up to the door in an effort to get in and the cop had to physically grab her – thus ‘resisting arrest’. Natch, this is all speculation but right now that’s all we got.


Gristmiller November 4, 2011 at 5:36 am

This is another example the increasing use of brawn over brains. The police don’t have to jump so quickly to the use of force. Where was the threat? From Ms Danieli? I don’t think so. Its just another kind of bullying.


RB November 4, 2011 at 6:45 am

It is possible the threat was the condition of the building after fire and water damage.
I also believe there is danger when water and electricity are mixed. Darwin would say it is natural for some to ignore the warnings of the fire and police department.


Gristmiller November 4, 2011 at 6:58 am

Sorry, I don’t buy it.


Allen Lewis November 4, 2011 at 10:24 am

I see this more and more, people mostly younger trying to defy a cop. Cops are just people some just doing there job and others over doing it, ( like that white haired cop at the demonstration). Safety is there first order and when he says you can’t go in a house that just had a fire, I think that is something you should lesion to. By acting like a “idiot” and trying to go anyway brings suspicion on to you. People need to get it… there is a time and place for actions, and no place to act like a “idiot”. I have found that acting like a nice guy when confronted with a cop gets me out of trouble more than gets me in.


Allen Lewis November 4, 2011 at 10:32 am

P.S.,hey Frank I think the heading should read…OB Woman With Rx for Medical Pot Arrested for Becoming Combative as Firefighters Find Pot During Neighbor’s Fire.


Jack Hamlin November 4, 2011 at 11:26 am

I guess it may be me Allen, but I do not see anywhere other than what the SDPD told the UT (read, “not very credible”) regarding her combativeness. It is has been my experience it is the SDPD in OB who are confrontational, combative and officious, not the natives. Even in the photo, the officer is not breaking a sweat as he drags her off in cuffs.


Frank Gormlie November 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Allen, I see Jack beat me to it, but yes, perhaps it’s been a while since you lived here – as you once did. How do we know yet just what she did? I think I’d be fairly upset if I couldn’t get into my place after a neighbor’s fire. Using police officers instead of mediators or neighborhood advocates just doens’t make it. This could have been handled very differently – as I am being reminded almost daily down at Occupy San Diego in dealings with the police.


Alissa November 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Should have let her smoke a bowl, maybe her prescription is for anger management. I just hope she has a smart kid who knows mom did no wrong and that there are a few good cops out there, just not many.


Kenloc November 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm

It would take alot for an officer to not only arrest a woman whose home was just damaged but charge her with child endangerment as well.Many officers have families.. Messing with the custody of one’s children is not something they casually throw out there.Anyone know the origin of that charge? Is it because she was fighting with police while her child was standing right there? Perhaps she was trying to bring her child into the unsafe apartment.


Allen Lewis November 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm

I have had the misfortune of dealing with cops in the past in OB why more than most, and I’m just sayin your actions has a lot to do with the outcome, being calm and cool go’s a long way. Cops will be cops where ever they are. I also know about protest environments… there not quite the same… here the cops get to dress up in riot gear mace and kick people and earn the name dirty cops.


Christopher Moore November 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Yeah, there’s never a good time to mouth off to the cops, I’ve learned this the hard way over the years.

They’ll just charge you with some silly crap just for annoying them.

I feel bad for this woman though, I’d be pretty upset out too if there had been a fire in my building and I couldn’t get in.

The charges are a bit absurd and I hope they’ll be dropped.


john November 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm
john November 4, 2011 at 8:24 pm

If first responders say you can’t go into an emergency scene, you can’t. It’s that simple, you have to obey the lawful orders of a sworn peace officer, the law is clear. Firefighters don’t need to be dealing wih combative residents.
Asd for the pot, pretty sure a prescription does not allow a “cooler full”, does it?
While the story is pretty clearly written the headline isn’t.


Frank Gormlie November 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm

John, there are large gaps in the “story” – like, for starters, why was she charged with child endangerment? No mention of any child or anything relating to it. The reporter presumably was not at the site when any “fight” occurred and had to rely on police and fire reports, but no witnesses? Not one witness is interviewed.


john November 5, 2011 at 3:24 am

The child endangerment thing could be if she had a small child in tow with her and tried to sidestep police and go into a residence full of water and live electrical wiring – the residence was deemed dangerous by firefighters, her insisting on going in and taking her child with her- or even her going in alone and leaving the child unattended in a busy street full of emergency vehicles and onlookers- may very well fit the legal description. Of course it may not have really placed the child in any danger, but we know that’s not as relevant as whether they have legal precedent and does the language of the code apply to her behaviour. Once you piss off the po-lice damn near anything you do outside of breathing becomes a prosecutable offense should they choose to do so.
It could also be the marijuana if it far exceeds the allowable prescription amount. Even if it’s within that amount, I believe you could be liable for child endangerment if it’s a type of prescription drug stored where children have access that’s not in child proof packaging.
Don’t laugh, I think that just may be a law.

(on a related point, why does bleach etc have a tamper proof seal inside the cap now? Oh let’s make sure nobody poisoned my….. poison!)

Not trying to convict her of anything just throwing around speculation.

While I do really feel sorry for her and understand why she’d be stressed out coming home to this scene, my gut feeling is if I had a cooler full of buds and the cops and fire fighters were all over my building with a fire and I saw they were in my pad…. I’m gonna get scarce quick, certainly not become an angry PITA to them. So to her, “Hey, man, you’re blowin’ it, gotta cut you off!” AKA the “poo” list.


J.B.Good November 5, 2011 at 5:03 am

Im the father of the small child she had “in tow.” Although Her and I have our differences I will still say that she is a wonderful mother to our child. She has never and in no way would ever put ANY child in danger. She is simply a distraught woman and reacted the same way anyone else would if they came home to find everything they own damaged because of someone else being careless. The police should have had some understanding and compassion for her. Instead they had to flex their “power” and cause her more problems. “F” the police for what theyve done to her and our child. Shes 5’4 and wouldnt hurt a fly. But the police say she was obstructing…from what? Their next coffee break?


Gristmiller November 5, 2011 at 10:33 am



john November 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Yeah I’m sure they were just reaching for things to charge her for, hopefully most or all of this will be dropped before it reaches the DA’s office.
As for carelessness that’s who ought to be locked up, the guy who put plastic on a stove to heat it up and left home- but then criminal stupidity is hard to prove.
The guy who was out hunting and set that fire that killed 13 people got off with a slap on the wrist, but it was appropriate and he felt horrible. A news report read a passage from an old boy scout manual, “If lost, light a signal fire”, and that’s what he did.


mr.rick November 4, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Some of you folks need to know that there is a no bust policy that has been in place for many years. Over 40 years. The Community Congress or some other coalition got this policy because so many people were showing up dead of herion overdoses .People won’t call 911 if they are going to get busted for dope when they need an ambulance. So she was just probably sweating her dope being taken. She will probably have to go down town to get her stash back. And then she will only get the Rx filled. But, if that is the case, she’ll have a good story to tell. “Did I ever tell you about the time the San Diego police filled my pot script?” Larrisa proudly asks.


mr.rick November 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm

BTW, that headline does prompt one to read further for more complete details.


Allen Lewis November 4, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Frank, as you know a eye whiteness is one of the most unreliable, I think your view on this is some what shaded because of your time at the protest. (understandably so) On this I have to agree with John, I was a EMT for many years, and safety is foremost. Given that all the story has not been told, a first respondent needs to keep things under control. As for a lady going..well, out of control,It’s all about controlling the factors. When it comes to safety How many factors can you deal with at one time?


Allen Lewis November 4, 2011 at 9:26 pm

WOW!!!! A “cooler full”, I need her # I hope it’s Humboldt, or from Washington, south pot sucks…LOL :>


Allen Lewis November 4, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Hey Frank, isn’t that the prick white head cop in the photo behind the one doing the arrest???


Frank Gormlie November 4, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I looked again – and it is a close call. This one looks a tad older …. angle is not good.


Allen Lewis November 4, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I was just wondering, your comment “(John, there are large gaps in the “story” – like, for starters, why was she charged with child endangerment? No mention of any child or anything relating to it)”. do you plan on defending her.? if so, pic your battles wisely.


Larissa Danielli November 7, 2011 at 11:00 pm

I am the woman arrested. I am the business owner of a DJ company. Upon arriving at the scene, I realized the police had not protected my very EXPENSIVE DJ equipment and were letting it be water damaged. I repeatedly requested that they move my equipment to a safer place and up off of the floor. The officer refused and I kept repeating my request. He then arrested me for “obstruction of justice.” I believe there should first be justice to obstruct, but there wasn’t. The cop was thrilled as could be, saying he was getting me for possession of marijuana and sales, where I was quick to point out I do have a medical marijuana card. The “endangerment to a child” came because the officer couldn’t arrest me for marijuana. My child was at DAYCARE and no where even NEAR the fire, my apartment, or me. But they pressed felony charges, went and picked my kid up from DAYCARE, REFUSED to allow family to take him, and placed him in a childrens home, where he still resides. I spent 5 days in jail for these trumped up charges and now have to fight CPS to get my child back. This was GROSSLY mishandled and I have never felt more violated on how those sent to “protect and serve” had a complete lack of sensitivity, bullied, and made up false accusations. Oh, and they ALSO took away my drivers liscense for having an MMJ card, saying that I am unable to drive if I have an medical marijuana card and I now have to fight the DMV also.


Patty Jones November 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Larissa, thanks for telling us your story. I am really sorry for what you have been through and what you are still going through.


john November 8, 2011 at 5:44 am

That’s pretty sad this happened to you, thank you for telling your side of the story.

Hindsight is 20/20 but you never know how water damage might happen, years ago a washer hookup burst when I was out of the house just minutes, when I returned it was 3 inches deep everywhere and lots of stuff was ruined. Ever since I keep everything possible elevated, even have my couch on wood blocks to this day. Maybe others can take notice before it happens to them as well.
Didn’t know about the MMJ/DMV thing. So how come people with Valium scrips and the like can drive? How come people who can buy alcohol have licenses? Just one more way of the people vote to change the law and the government won’t let them if it doesn’t serve their longstanding interests against them.
Is there anything we can do for this woman through the Rag? Do you need anything? We’re all tight right now but collectively maybe could help in some way? What got damaged, your coffin?


Larissa November 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm

The ceiling is damaged and will need to fixed due to mold and the whole floor suffered severe water damage. Although my house is too torn apart to plug in my stereo system, I am sure my speakers are ruined. They are very heavy and sat directly on the floor, with only about a 1/4″ strip before the speaker opens into wire mesh. All the carpet and padding from the entire apartment has had to be ripped out. It wasn’t as if I was asking the police to enter a ‘dangerous’ place to access my speakers and bring them outside, or up off the floor, to safety. They had already wrapped my tv, my chairs and other random stuff and were standing directly in front of my speakers, inside, talking. My speakers were underneith my DJ table and covered with a table cloth, directly in front of the front door and out of the way of the ceiling damage. It’s the water damage spreading thru the carpet that got them. They are still refusing to give my 22 month-0ld child back and I now have to go to rehab for marijuana and submit to drug testing for at least 6 months, among many other “requirements” or risk having my child put up for adoption. If anyone knows a good family law attorney or civil rights attorney, that is about the best help I can get right now. Thank you for caring.


john November 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm

You might be in luck here, I’ve been building custom subwoofer boxes for competition level car audio systems for years, still have my table saw and have good upholstery skills too. If they are decent quality and the drivers and xovers are salvageable I can make you new enclosures in my sleep right at my duplex near dog beach. Would need some of the materials, I can provide some but am kind of tight as all are. For instance I think I have a few yards of black vinyl in two textures, but I have no lumber at the moment- would need at least 1 sheet of 1/2 or 3/4″. (Pro Audio/PA use plywood not mdf for enclosures)Have tons of hardware like T-nuts and screws. I’ve wired a few cofffins for DJ friends so am somewhat familiar with this stuff, and most of the speaker boxes I’ve built you c0uld park a car on.
Of course if the drivers are trash or they were “parking lot van specials” you’re better off looking for new ones, can’t make em as cheap as China. PM Frank or Patty if you think this is helpful, they have my email and one look at the system I rock in my humble old Rodeo you will know I’m serious.


john November 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Oh yeah, “rehab for marijuana?” I knew a guy that did that to get his straight arrow wife’s family off his back.
He was the laughingstock of the group, they wouldn’t stop giving him ****, he said they kept referencing that old joke commercial about a guy who went to prison for stealing cable.
The atmosphere down at the “hall of injustice” that is putting the hammer on this poor girl is what we can expect more of if “team dumanis” invades the mayor’s office.


Larissa November 8, 2011 at 12:55 am

Thank you, Patty. I would also like to add that the cooler was sealed, out of reach and never around children. Thanks to SDPD, Americas “Finest”, I am now out a home, a child, a drivers liscense and much more. Not to mention the tax dollars spent protecting America from dangerous me.


Allen Lewis November 8, 2011 at 10:46 am

first I want to say how very sorry I am for Larissa, and hope she can get her life back from the bastards that took it. Things are not what they seem, we live in a invisible police state. I just shared this sad story with one of my best friends who grew up in Mississippi in the 50’s and 60’s and the first words he said was… wow, “this lady is being treated like she’s black”, witch he is. He said this story needs to be heard by people out side of SD. He is a poster on the Alex Jone web site and would like to see this story show up there. Stories like this is happening all over the country, and more people need to here them. Dam, I can’t believe they held her in jail and wont give her child back… O yes I can, the bastards.


Gristmiller November 8, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Exactly correct!


Fellow OB mother November 8, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I hope that anybody with a business in Ocean Beach might consider throwing a fund raiser to help Larissa out. She has suffered extraordinary harm with this fire and we Ocean Beach-ers need to rally around her. If the OB Rag is in tight with anybody with a restaurant, a fund raising night would be a cool thing to do. I don’t have a lot of money but can volunteer to drive Larissa around, if she needs a ride, or until she gets the DMV thing straightened out.

Anyone who has expertise in helping with CPS services and reuniting children with their parents would be more than welcome to advise her. Let’s get together & make it happen for this lady. After all, there but for the grace of God.


Allen Lewis November 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Is anybody setting up a help fund for Larissa, if so someone please post the info so I can do my best to help some.


Gloria February 3, 2013 at 10:47 am

Here’s the San Diego Police Departments FB http://www.facebook.com/sandiegopolicedepartment

[Editor: this comment was edited.]


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