Man jailed after he and his mule refuse to budge from private property in Castro Valley

- A former San Francisco Bay Area man who travels around California on a mule advocating for an interstate trail system remains jailed Thursday for refusing to move along a day earlier in Castro Valley. 

Some might say he's as stubborn as a mule. 

John Chaney Sears, 69, is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on $10,000 bail for trespassing and obstructing an officer, according to jail records.

He was arrested by California Highway Patrol officers Wednesday for apparently refusing to budge off private, state-owned land, said his friend Laura Vaughn. 

Vaughn said Sears is doing fine and will wait until a Friday morning court hearing to see if the case will be dismissed.  

His mule, Little Girl, is also fine, said Vaughn. She's staying on a ranch in Pleasanton, but missing her owner. Sears is no stranger to run-ins with law enforcement. He's been cited for trespassing in cities across California but most times the tickets are thrown out. 

On Wednesday, he had stopped and removed the mule's packs so both he and the animal could rest and eat when officers came along and asked him to move along.

"He was asked to move and he didn't,'' said Vaughn, who used her own horse trailer to transport the mule and Sears' belonging from the side of the road in Castro Valley.  A call to the California Highway Patrol was not returned Thursday. 

Sears has been traveling around the Western United States for more than a decade advocating for an interstate trail system for everyone, including mules, and fighting against an increasing number of city ordinances that prohibit people from sleeping outdoors. 

 

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