Assault on Bishop Police Officer at the Cielo Hotel



SEPTEMBER 25, 2020
On Wednesday, September 24, 2020 at approximately 0854 hours, the Bishop Police Department was requested by a local support agency to conduct a welfare check on a minor child that was staying with an adult male and female in a hotel room located at the 600 block of North Main Street, in Bishop.
Officers contacted an adult male at the door of the hotel room, who initially stated that he was alone in the room. Officers made an effort to speak with the female occupant that was seen inside the room when she produced an aerosol can of pepper spray, otherwise known as Oleoresin Capsicum. The female dispersed the contents of the aerosol can through the open door, aiming it towards the police officers, striking the male party directly in the face as well as one Bishop Police Officer.
Officers immediately requested backup assistance and medical aid from Symons Ambulance Services to respond at approximately 0921 hours. The female then barricaded herself inside the hotel room.
Multiple agencies including members of the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol and Mono County Sheriff’s Department responded to the call for assistance and remained on scene. A Crisis Negotiation Team, comprised of local Law Enforcement Officers and assisted by local counselors, was dispatched to the hotel in an effort to have the female occupant surrender peacefully and safely. Negotiation efforts were unsuccessful after several hours.
As a result, an arrest warrant was obtained from the Inyo County Superior Court, allowing officers to enter the room and remove female.
Twyla Dawn Sepsey, age 43 of Bishop, was safely taken into custody and booked at the Inyo County Jail with the following charges:
Two counts of Penal Code Section 69 –Resistance of an Executive Officer;
One count of Penal Code Section 22810(g) – Prohibited person in possession of tear gas (OC spray).
The male subject was assisted by medical staff at the scene with decontamination from the pepper spray
Both officers self-decontaminated from the pepper spray exposure and recovered at the scene.
The minor child was not in the room and was staying with family members.

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29 Responses to Assault on Bishop Police Officer at the Cielo Hotel

  1. Thomas October 1, 2020 at 12:09 pm #

    Tourbillon has a comment in this thread that invites a response. Tourbillon critiques `four different agencies’ for responding to pepper spray, and also wonders who `lit the fuse by a false report.’

    First of all, from the news report, your local agency, the B.P.D., was the responding agency which originally caught the call for the `safety and welfare check, minor child,’ NOT four additional agencies. When the responding officers sensed aggressive behavior and astringent material being dispersed toward them, they would understandably request back-up. In a large precinct or division, such as where I am affiliated, that back-up would come from patrol officers of the division, even the same sector, and all of the same department. But that isn’t how it works in a smaller community. The smaller community may not have deployable resources at that time in the same Basic Car Area, so to meet the need, the smaller communities have inter-agency assistance agreements. The call for back-up, or an `officer needs help’ call, goes through dispatch and is patched to participating agencies in the area, who would then send their units closest to the incident location. Those might be Sheriff’s units or CHP units, possibly in some areas, forestry units. Otherwise, there wouldn’t necessarily be a way to provide the requested support quickly. That is why you might find units from various agencies on the scene in such an area. It isn’t to create a mass event, it is only a recognition of the need for inter-agency cooperation in a widely dispersed rural area.

    Secondly, the person who reports the suspected abuse shouldn’t be characterized as “lighting a fuse.” California law puts various persons into categories called “Mandatory Reporters” for reporting purposes, in various instances. The legislature did this to put a statutory reporting duty upon people in positions where they might know of abusive incidents. Mandatory Reporters can include caregivers, fiduciaries, teachers, bankers, police officers, physicians and nurses, attorneys, social workers, and others, depending upon the circumstances. Those persons once aware of a suspected abuse situation, are obligated by law to make a report. Then your local law enforcement agency has the primary obligation to investigate that report–they are required to investigate it, and may not ignore it. This is the process the legislature created to make sure that such cases are looked into. The identity of the Reporting Party is confidential as a matter of law.

    If someone other than a Mandated Reporter is the Reporting Party–such as a neighbor, a friend, or a cousin, for example– they are essentially acting as a volunteer, at their peril, in terms of any potential tort responsibility based upon their action. However, those persons can always attempt to make out the defense of good faith and lack of malice, if challenged in civil litigation.

    I hope this is of some clarification.

    • Tammy Red Owl October 1, 2020 at 12:58 pm #

      The over-response of law enforcement agencies is nothing new when certain Native American individuals with certain last names are involved. Justify all you want doesn’t negate the fact Bishop PD and ICSO and Inyo County Superior Court have been racist since their inception. Just take a look at sentencing information. Watch my comment won’t get approval.

  2. thomas September 28, 2020 at 12:49 pm #

    Dear Bishop residents,

    Maybe I can provide some comments to assist in your dialogue. I have been a California attorney for thirty-five years, a court-appointed mediation officer for three years in family disputes, and for the last five years, I have worked domestic violence cases as a pro bono specialist assisting detectives of a large metropolitan police department in California.

    When patrol officers get a radio call from their dispatch center, to conduct a Safety & Welfare Check on a minor which is based upon an agency report, that means that some local agency, such as Child Protective Services or APS, has suspected and reported a possible abuse situation to local law enforcement. A detective at that agency assigned to such incoming reports, has reviewed the Report, passed it on to the Watch Commander on duty, with his or her recommendation that Patrol officers be sent out on a “Safety & Welfare Check, Minor Child.”

    At that point, the patrol officers get the radio call and they roll on it, and they must follow their training and procedure for S & W Checks. They have no choice in the matter, they are obligated to show up, do a door-knock, announce and identify themselves, and then make inquiries of the occupants as to the presence and safety of a minor child. If they receive contradictory or suspicious responses in that initial interview at the doorway, they will continue that dialogue, with the objective of ascertaining the presence, if any, of a minor child, and confirming the safe circumstances of such child.

    During that ongoing dialogue, if an officer is shoved, or a weapon brandished toward an officer, or as in this case, an aerosol can of astringent material sprayed out at the officers–especially after the officers had been told that there was no second person in the room–that is an aggressive act the response protocol for which allows for appropriate force to be applied in response. That appropriate force might be a take-down followed by an entry, and that would be a righteous use of “less-than-lethal force” in such facts. However, these responding officers apparently instead called for back-up, then waited and attempted further negotiations, and then only later obtained a warrant, and then entered the premises. From what I have read, those officers acted with great restraint in the circumstances.

    As an aside, this type of domestic call can be very dangerous. When the Watch Commander sends patrol out on these calls, the responding officers don’t know if some mental patient off his meds is lurking behind the doorway with a shotgun. That happened three years ago in Riverside County, and two officers died as a result.

    I think you ladies and gentlemen who live in Bishop are very fortunate to have a department that showed such restraint and moderation in this case.

    Thanks for reading my comments,


    • Britney September 28, 2020 at 7:40 pm #

      My 2 cents,
      You are NEVER OBLIGATED, to talk to the police. EVER! You don’t have to answer the door. You are of free rights. Just because someone calls LEO’s in no way requires your
      COOPERATION burden of proof IS ON LEO.& PLEASE know your rights, don’t answer ANY QUESTIONS. learn to STFU, Remember, they read you your rights after ( if at all ) your being placed in the car. never trust a attorney , their duty is to the courts. #1

      • Charles James September 28, 2020 at 8:52 pm #

        Well, that is certainly one view, we suppose. Sometimes, however, someone’s 2-cents is worth about as much as having a dime-store lawyer representing you in a court of law. Just saying. Different strokes for different folks, but let’s not pretend to be surprised when stubbornness or even stupidity, blows up in your face. Everything has a price; everyone must decide themselves if it’s worth the cost…especially if it’s something that could cost your life or freedom.

  3. Almost Native September 28, 2020 at 12:09 pm #

    Maybe they should have just called her room and asked her to meet them outside.

  4. Tanya Mitchell September 28, 2020 at 9:35 am #

    The child was used as an excuse to get in the door. The child is never with his parents he is always with his grandparents both sides of the family. Inyo County is racist they pack us in their jail for a good price. As a tribe if we were really sovereign we would have our own jail. This was a false report with a mentally ill mother and a Dad who is trying. We’ve asked our tribe repeatedly for help we do not have the proper mental health services. This whole situation could have been avoided should the tribal workers have used compassion instead they constantly waited for the mother to mess up. We need help here on the Rez. The commentary on this thread can hopefully get us the help we need on our reservation. This is a long story. But they were not doing criminal behavior and the workers knew the child is never with his parents without us the family being around. ???????? God will provide and get the mother the mental health help she needs. About the cops yeah no comment cause y’all would argue their innocence anyway. ????

  5. Donald Salac September 27, 2020 at 3:31 pm #

    Google the woman. She’s from Bishop.

  6. Dad for Momala September 27, 2020 at 12:09 pm #

    I can’t wait for Kamala Harris to be our VP. This is going to be amazing. It is about time our criminal justice system got a makeover. Maybe with some new shoes and tough love all around. A nice healthy dose of cut the bs power game and actually fix society. Brilliant! I can see why yye dudes in power are scared!

    • David Dennison September 27, 2020 at 2:33 pm #

      Dad for Momala
      On the contrary of what you hear and who is trying to lie and spin it,possible future President Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris have no intention what-so-ever to “cut” or “defund” the Police and Law Enforcement…
      Who says they want to do that is lying and only trying to install fear,hoping to get votes with their fear-mongering.

      • Dad for Momala September 28, 2020 at 4:48 am #

        Thanks for the input, dudes in power! Been listening to that skipping record for 30 some years no with no changes. I am ready to take a shot at plan b. Nothing to lose at this point.

      • Dad for Momala September 28, 2020 at 4:57 am #

        …Also, to be frank I don’t really care if the police are defunded myself. That is not my diatribe personally though I do support the BLM movement. I just want some no nonsense policy introduced to the criminal justice system. Egomaniacal toxic grown male larping high school football supremecy culture has dominated law enforcement too long. I used to look up to law enforcement officers and still do some of them. That number is shrinking quickly though. Especially as their racust/sexist opinions start coming out close to elections at work and online. I don’t think all police are bad or all of their policies are bad, but they are long overdue for change. It is obviously rotting from the inside under the current leadership trends.

      • Dad for Momala September 28, 2020 at 5:39 am #

        I try to avoid social media and mom when forming my theories about politics. Instead I choose to reference the works of philosophers who layed the foundation for political discourse, like the social contract theory of John Locke circa 1600s.

        Would live to discuss that philosophy and how the world has changed instead of the boiler plate garbage in social and mainstream media. Headlines are great triggers but let’s get to the nitty gritty.

  7. Pedro September 27, 2020 at 7:57 am #

    Lazy H,

    Whose side are you on? Your hysteria distracts from getting to truth and makes it harder to get to justice.

    10 second internet search shows pepper spray falls under code cited. Press release says one charge, but shows 2 different sections. Prohibited possession, and use other than self defense.

  8. David Dennison September 26, 2020 at 12:53 pm #

    Larry And John
    You two are a big part of the problem with the problems going on nowadays.
    IMO, nothing worse than a bad cop, like we’ve seen on the National news lately, but this case is FAR from that.
    The Officers were doing a welfare check on a child.
    What the hell do you think the LE Officers should’ve done when they were met at the door with lies, combative people, and then a face-full of pepper spray, knowing there was a child inside the motel being barricaded inside the room?
    This can’t even be remotely compared to Brianna Taylor or George Floyd.
    John, your two shades of stupid to state anyone was “invading their privacy”. Or calling anyone a “white supremacist because of this incident…nothing to do with color, no matter what color these two lawbreakers were.

  9. Larry H September 26, 2020 at 9:19 am #

    What a joke! “assault”? The lady was only defending herself from intrusion by those police thugs. There is the right of any citizen. And no minor was present! And last time I checked, pepper spray was not “tear gas”.

  10. John September 26, 2020 at 9:08 am #

    Lucky she wasn’t murdered by the white supremacist police. They had no business invading those people’s privacy. Shades of Breonna Taylor?

    • Tourbillon September 26, 2020 at 6:08 pm #

      I wonder who lit the fuse by a false report that a child was in the room and needed a “check”. And why. The whole rodeo – four different police agencies responding to pepper spray – was the result of a false report. SW should follow this up.

      • Jeremiah Temple September 27, 2020 at 3:37 am #

        What Assistance from medical staff was provided I never got anything just washed my self up I’m disgusted and very upset by this whole situation.

        • David Dennison September 27, 2020 at 12:17 pm #

          I think your first mistake,and maybe able to avoid this whole situation from getting out of control,was lying to the Officers when they “allegedly” inquired about the female and child in the room and were “allegedly” told you were alone..
          After all,it seems Law Enforcement was called to check on a child’s welfare…never mind the Officers able to observe a female in the background,and having to wonder if a child was also indeed present…before the pepper spray was set off through the door and into their faces.
          I’m curious….what should the Officer’s have done when they noticed there was another person present after they were told nobody was there besides yourself ?
          Should they have told you “Have a nice night” and walked away right then,or should they have just left after trying to dodge the pepper spray headed their way,and telling their dispatcher everything was fine and in control ?

        • Pedro September 27, 2020 at 7:57 pm #


          No good can ever come from you or yours posting here in the Kangaroo Court.

          You really should only talk to defense attorneys and NO one else. Even if you want to talk to prosecutors, do it through your own attorney. The system isn’t set up to care for you without a professional. You need an advocate no matter where you sit in this.

      • Tinner September 27, 2020 at 1:02 pm #

        It’s quite disturbing the percentage of people, even here, who side with the criminal element of our society as well as those who lack common sense and any knowledge of police procedure, protocol.
        If I were a betting man, I would bet the two people in the motel room have friends and or family commenting here.

        • Pedro September 27, 2020 at 8:19 pm #


          It’s quite disturbing the percentage of people, even here, who have quit the journey to find their heart. And presume who the criminal element of our society is and no longer have a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. As well as those who lack common sense and any knowledge of the protections granted us under the law. If I were a betting man, I would bet police outside the motel room have friends and or family commenting here.

          Ya gotta ask yourself if you presume arrestees guilty until proven innocent, why you don’t presume police guilty until proven innocent? How about we presume all parties innocent until We the People find otherwise?

          • Tinner September 28, 2020 at 9:33 pm #

            “Journey to find their heart.” How poetic and sweet.
            No journey needed, it’s been on my sleeve for quite some time.
            You have to ask yourself, why would somebody be prohibited from possessing tear gas when it’s completely legal for a citizen to carry it, any idea?
            You’re right, we are presumed innocent until proven guilty, more so in a court of law, not so much in a court of public opinion and “We The People” have a right to an opinion.
            We also have a right to credit law enforcement over others that have no credibility, in this case, somebody that lies to an officers face and somebody that is willing to spray an officer in the face with tear gas.
            Speaking for myself, I am SO thankful there are still men and women who are brave enough and willing to do job where they have to deal with the stuff they have to deal with everyday, what would we be as a society would we be without them?
            Ya gotta ask yourself, if you were in a situation where you or a loved ones life threatened what kind of individual would you rather count on, a person that was willing to spray a police officer in the face with tear gas or somebody that is willing to go to a job not knowing if they’re gonna return home?
            I know who I’d want, how about you?

        • Pedro September 30, 2020 at 12:12 am #


          Don’t expect a Pulitzer for mocking you with Wizard of Oz.

          I read the code. Care to tell what you’re inferring?

          Your opinion comes off like a vulture waiting to feed off the souls you condemn.

          Not illegal to lie to police with few exceptions.

          Stop making law enforcement’s job harder by constantly humping their leg.

          What is society like when the opinions here are the jury pool?

          I trust the cop or civilian that intends to use pepper spray for self defense.

          • David Dennison October 1, 2020 at 1:02 pm #

            Good luck with that one in front of a jury…
            When Law Enforcement responds to a call of a welfare check on a child, when they show up to ask some questions of the residence,the Officers get a face-full of pepper spray out of who is inside the motel room,and the resident claiming “self defense”…..from the Officers.
            For the first time ever in my life,I’d look forward to sit on that jury..

          • Pedro October 3, 2020 at 10:19 am #

            David Dense Again,

            Good luck with what? No defense or accusation was offered.

            You prove my point about jury pools in the County.

          • David Dennison October 3, 2020 at 3:02 pm #

            Maybe I didn’t quite understand your last sentence there,when you talked of “trusting someone,cop or civilian that uses pepper spray in self defense”.
            Going along with the story here,seemed to me you might’ve been saying THIS civilian was acting on “self defense” when Law Enforcement showed up at the motel door asking questions,being lied to, and then requesting entry for a welfare check,almost like it was within in his rights to fend-off these Officers with some type of force to defend himself.
            Maybe I live in a different world than you,but if Law Enforcement is called to do a welfare check,especially if it might involve a child,something tells me it might not be a good idea,or legal to lie to the responding Officers if they happen to notice others in the room too after they were told of no one else in the place.That might be called a “red flag” to something suspicious going on inside,don’t you think ?

  11. MARTY September 26, 2020 at 7:48 am #



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