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Community shows support for Mayor Blakespear following threatening text

Encinitas residents are rallying around Mayor Catherine Blakespear after authorities say she was sent a threatening text message earlier this month.

The mayor, who was elected to a two-year term in November, was sent the text on July 2 from a disposable cell phone, according to Capt. John Maryon of the Sheriff’s Department’s North Coastal Station, which is investigating the incident.

Authorities said the sender wrote they had fantasies of committing violent sexual acts against the mayor, who was referred to as “Cathy” in the text.

Maryon said a crime report was taken and the department is taking the threat seriously and is conducting a full investigation.

“To send something like that is not right, and it’s illegal,” he said.

About 15 residents agreed that the text was inappropriate and gathered together in Leucadia on July 9 to rally support for Blakespear, as well as show “solidarity against hate speech, hate crimes and sexual violence,” according to protestor Brittany Corrales.

“I personally went to the rally because the hateful message sent to our mayor struck close to home for me,” said the woman, who regularly volunteers with the Leucadia Main Street Association, in an email. “Mostly I felt a duty to support Catherine because I am a survivor of rape. I cannot stand to see one more female (or male) sexually assaulted, harassed, or oppressed. This crime is real. Rape is not a joke, and these violent individuals who commit such crimes need to be punished accordingly.”

The group made and displayed signs that showed support for the mayor and a desire to “end hate speech now.”

Blakespear said she was grateful for the community’s support.

She added a resident, who identified himself as a former bodyguard, also left a message on her office phone, offering to train her in self-defense. She said she plans to accept his offer.

“It strikes me that instead of feeling powerless, this group of community members rallied their collective voice in a public way by making signs and posting their rejection of intimidation and brutality,” Blakespear said after learning about the rally. “I am impressed by this human instinct and incredibly touched that so many have circled the wagons around me. It buoys me to be supported so wholeheartedly by my community.”


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