SAN JACINTO – A handicapped woman says the courts and police were unable to protect her mobile home from burning down last month at the hands of a suspected arsonist who was once considered a friend.
Kathleen Sandlian’s mobile home was destroyed at Hemacinto Mobile Home Park. The suspected arsonist, Randall Austin, 51, is behind bars, police said on Friday. The relationship between Sandlian and Austin went bad, reports said, when the male suspect tried to have an intimate relationship with the victim.
Sandlian, meanwhile, told officials her home was lost because the courts and law enforcement authorities were unable to enforce a restraining order that had been granted.
A Riverside Superior Court judge in Murrieta sent Austin to jail for 20 days, ordering he stay 10 yards away from Sandlian’s home and not have any contact with the 52-year-old woman, who is on Social Security.
The restraining order was granted on May 12.
According to local law enforcement officials, there was no evidence of a restraining order. As of Friday, there had been no official explanation on the reasons.
“It appears that the deputy D.A. and the court in this case may not have been familiar with the procedure regarding the criminal protective order,” said the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office spokesman John Hall in a written statement. “While criminal protective orders can be an effective tool in preventing future violence, they are not a guarantee and not always effective against those individuals intent on committing future violence.”
San Jacinto police said no record of a restraining order had been removed from its computer system.
Sandlian, meanwhile, got a phone call explaining that her mobile home was on fire. Virtually everything in the house was destroyed, she told local media.
Officials said arson was committed twice, once on June 18 and again on June 19. One of the casualties was a family dog that belonged to Sandlian’s granddaughter.
Austin is behind bars as a suspect in the arson.
San Jacinto is a city located next to Hemet in the eastern portion of Riverside County.