David Grajeda: A mayoral candidate ‘completely misunderstood’

David Grajeda at a court appearance on Nov. 16, 2011.

LANCASTER – In the 36 hours leading up to today’s election, most candidates were likely making the final push for supporters.

But mayoral candidate David Grajeda was sitting in a jail cell for at least four of those hours.

In his latest brush with the law, Grajeda was arrested late Sunday night and jailed briefly on suspicion of violating a family court restraining order that bans him from talking to his ex-girlfriend or seeing his child. Authorities said Grajeda approached his ex and her new beau outside a movie theater, followed them, and then challenged the man to a fight. Read the Palmdale Station news release here.

Grajeda said he was not a threat and maintained his innocence early Tuesday morning.

“I didn’t challenge him to a fight or threaten like I was going to kick his ass or any of that,” Grajeda said.

Grajeda said he had just gotten off work, as a dishwasher in a nearby restaurant, when he walked over to the Cinemark Movie Theater to reminisce about the first date he had with his former girlfriend. He says, at that point, he spotted the two exiting the theater and was more hurt than angry.

“I didn’t have my arms up like I was going to fight him… I just wanted him to understand how I felt as a man, and how upset I was that he was getting into my family’s business,” Grajeda said, adding that his ex’s new boyfriend had previously lashed out at him on the Internet. “He opened the car door, grabbed a Taser and shot me with it. He committed an act of violence when all I was doing was expressing my frustrations to him.”

Expressing frustrations has gotten Grajeda into a lot of trouble over the past year.

Six months ago, Grajeda was arrested and jailed for 16 days for expressing frustrations at a Criminal Justice Commission meeting. (View video of his actions here.) Two months before that, Grajeda was arrested and jailed overnight for a frustrated outburst at the opening of the Laemmle Theatre on The Blvd. And in the months leading up to that arrest, Grajeda attended almost every City Council meeting solely to express his frustrations with the way the current leadership handled business.

Still, Grajeda insists that he is neither troublemaker nor rabble rouser.

“I am completely misunderstood,” Grajeda says.

David Grajeda was born on August 4, 1985. He is the youngest of his six brothers and has lived in the Antelope Valley, on and off, since he was two years old.

Grajeda said he attended several Antelope Valley schools growing up, including Chaparral Elementary, Tumbleweed Elementary, and Cactus Elementary and Middle School, and then bounced around to several different high schools, getting in trouble in each one.

“I wasn’t really doing anything in high school, I didn’t participate at all and I had straight Fs,” Grajeda said.

He said he finally quit school altogether at age 16, opting to taking his high school equivalency test, instead.

“Learning doesn’t start in school, and I did feel like what they were teaching didn’t really matter as far as pursuing a job,” Grajeda said.  After quitting school, Grajeda admittedly lost his way for several years.

By the time he was 22, he had racked up two felony convictions – one in 2003 (at age 18) for receiving stolen property and another in 2006 for having sex with a minor.

“At the age of 20, and she was 17,” Grajeda said. “I didn’t really know at the time how old she was nor did I even care. I was young and naïve.”

He said he’s served his time and has always been honest about his felony convictions.

“I’m not a registered sex offender, I’m not a child molester or any of those things,” Grajeda said. “I did 10 months in state prison… when I got out, I just tried to focus on doing better for myself, and then I met the mother of my child and I wanted to get better for her. It’s been a slow progression.”

Grajeda said he worked a series of manual labor jobs after his release from state prison — doing studio grip work, installing concrete, operating heavy equipment, removing asbestos, and working as a certified lifeguard for the Red Cross.

His daughter was born in the spring of 2011, and he says the milestone indirectly spurred his involvement in city politics. Grajeda said shortly before his daughter’s birth, he was applying for Food Stamps to support his new family when he was randomly searched for drugs by deputies at the Department of Social Services in Lancaster. Upset and feeling violated, Grajeda said he attended a Lancaster City Council meeting to address the issue with Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris.

But Parris was unsympathetic, Grajeda said. “He told me the Sheriff’s Department should be more aggressive,” Grajeda added. He said the encounter set him off on a mission to police City leaders.

“I figure if I have to go through scrutiny as an average citizen trying to go about my daily life… then the Mayor and the City Council will have to go through my scrutiny as a public citizen wanting to learn what they’re doing,” Grajeda said. “I’m going to find out what you’re doing wrong and I’m going to address it during my public comment.”

He said he researched state laws, city ordinances, and council agendas, and began to regularly attend city council meetings, speaking on every agenda item, and pointing out what he believed to be wrongdoings by the council and the mayor.

“For example, I researched the check registry, the money they were spending and what money goes where,” Grajeda said. “They paid almost $250,000 a year in advertisement to the AV Press…they spent $10,000 at Lemon Leaf, they spend thousands of dollars at Bex…”

“They bought millions of dollars in homes that weren’t upside down and were a good investment, and then they spent millions of dollars in the properties rehabbing them and now they’re upside down… now we  have over 140 idle properties,” Grajeda continud.

He said when he brought these issues before the council, he was routinely ignored. But he believes his message sunk in, because he says City officials began to harass him in other ways.

On August 11, 2011, during the opening of the Laemmle Theatre on The BLVD, Grajeda said he stood behind one of the camera men on the red carpet and watched as City leaders gave interviews. He said when it was the Mayor’s turn, things took a turn for the worse.

“He[Parris] turned to the sheriffs and said ‘somebody get this piece of garbage out of here, I’m not doing this interview until somebody gets this piece of garbage out of here,’” Grajeda said, adding that he only began hurling insults when he was dragged away. He admits to calling the mayor a crook several times.

Grajeda was promptly arrested for disturbing the peace and spent the night in jail. He claims shortly after that arrest he was blackmailed by Lancaster Station Captain Bob Jonsen, who said he could make the charge go away if Grajeda agreed not to attend any more council meetings. (Jonsen denies this allegation.)

Grajeda said things came to a head for him when he received word that Captain Jonsen had indirectly communicated with the mother of his child to dig up information on him. Grajeda said he was expressing his frustrations on this issue at the Criminal Justice Commission meeting on October 12, 2011 (view video his actions here).

“It just got to the point where my emotions were just running really high and I felt like what they were doing was completely unfair,” Grajeda said.

Grajeda was arrested on Oct. 25 for disturbing a public meeting, jailed for 16 days before bailing out, and then hit with a restraining order barring him from City Hall. He is still fighting the misdemeanor charge in court, with jury trial set for April 23. He says his decision to run for mayor is partly due to that incident, as well as everything else that’s happened to him since he began speaking out at council meetings.

“[I want] to prove a point that not only do I have a right to speak, I also have a right to run for Mayor,” Grajeda said. “If people vote for me it’s because they have no faith in the current administration.”

Grajeda said, if elected, he will get to work right away on settling the city’s many lawsuits, opening up city hall to the local community, liquidating bad assets acquired through redevelopment, imposing salary caps on the city manager and deputy city manager positions, and controlling the city’s spending.

“We have to stop all this nonsense spending and all this favoritism,”  Grajeda said. “There’s four to five hundred million dollars of debt… That money went somewhere, so I’m curious to see where that money went. How much did certain individuals profit? I want full transparency and accountability.”

“I will do the best I can, and I will do a great job,” Grajeda continued.


This is the last of the profiles The AV Times has published featuring Lancaster mayoral and city council candidates. We previously published profiles featuring mayoral candidates David Abber and  David Paul and council candidates John Kiramis, Michael Rives, Isaac Grajeda, Ken Mann and Sandra Johnson. Profiles were published in random order. Regrettably, we were unable to sit with incumbent mayoral candidate R. Rex Parris to conduct an interview before today’s election. If he is elected, we will conduct a post interview with Parris and publish his profile.

  45 comments for “David Grajeda: A mayoral candidate ‘completely misunderstood’

  1. really
    April 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    David, You need to mature a lot! What I am about to say will sound codescending but I mean it as an honest observation. You have issues that relate back to your childhood. You state that your family is priority number one, yet you find time to interject yourself into issues that really have no impact directly in your day to day life. If your family was truly number one you would be working tirelessly day and night to better yourself and equip yourself to provide for that family. A dishwasher is a job, a man gets a career. I applaud your desire to work but a man seeks a career so as to provide a lasting sense of stability for their family. I would venture to say that you have ADD and have a hard time focusing on some things yet you fixate on others. This is tough and you need to take steps to fix that. You need to realize that you will get the attention you seek when you strive to better yourself. You were raised in a situation where you learned that negative attention was better than no attention. Thats a bad situation but you can learn that negative attention is not a valid form of acceptance. Step out of the limelight and create some lasting change in yourself/family and then people will listen to you and be receptive to your ideas.

    • Facts
      April 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      You are 100% on target. Hopefully he’ll listen!

  2. Abdul Majeed Askia
    April 12, 2012 at 10:38 am

    If what is displayed on this blog is a representation of america it is clear that we need a spiritual healing ! So much anger,hatred,rage,
    hostility and bitterness.We must see the humanity in all of us,the self
    worth and sense of purpose in all of us,the God in all of us.

    I have heard people swear on their ‘skin’ as if their skin was some how
    more precious than others. If not the shin my label is better than
    your label. I made some mistakes in life even though my parents tried
    to raise me right. I had some anger in me that they couldn’t see with
    the naked eye. I was highly up set that someone could shot my mother
    and kill an aunt and uncle that I loved so dearly,at seven years old
    I was devastated and boiling with anger.It was out of love for my family
    and people that I was so angry toward a world that could do this to
    the people that I held so closely to my heart.

    People on this blog and those of you who are reading this can you hear
    me ?! I like so many was hurt so deeply at such a young age walking
    around with pent up anger I became an accident just waiting to happen.
    For awhile I was paranoid of my enviornment and afraid of anyone other
    than my family because it was always those outside of my family
    circle that was inflicting pain on those I loved. Therefore,I started
    to carry a weapon.From that moment on the stage was set for me to go
    to prison.I only fought and lashed back at those who attacked me or my
    family but nevertheless you can’t take the law into your own hands.
    I developed a disdain for society because I couldn’t understand why
    all this madness was occurring.

    I asked God at an early age to show me why was the world the way it is,
    now I know!!!Now I have a very deep understanding of why we are in
    the mess that we are in. But now you don’t want to listen because I
    too have a messed up past!!! I see in a profound way how one developes
    into becoming a hostile person or off track. I understand the dilemma
    we are in,but not only do I understand the problem, I have been blessed
    with the solution.

    There are those who are overlooking me because of my name Abdul Majeed Askia,or its my color,my religion,the area I live in, my now background
    or the simple fact that I will tell it like it is!!! I will lay it on
    the line.

    I have watched organizations prop-up look alikes,polish up phonies to
    carry the message because they don’t want me in the picture. Let anyone
    else speak other than Abdul Majeed Askia because he made us mad telling
    us we are just playing religion. He has the nerve to tell us we are
    the one’s that provide the dope,the alcohol,the sex magzines,the violence
    and all thay our youth are caught up in we,the adults are the culprits
    that make it available to the youth. We,the adults are the one’s
    that need correcting because we are the one’s with the power and the
    resources to make the changes thats needed.So,don’t let Abdul Majeed Askia
    of palmdale California ex-con say anything!!!

    Yes,prior to 911 I was the golden boy (Thats when they were trying to
    set me up because the way I am talking now is the same way I was talking
    then-striving to bring people together).

    As I have often stated ‘there is a method to the madness,cause and effect’.
    However, some folk don’t want the madness to stop;therefore,stop
    Abdul Majeed Askia! Imagine,at one time I was all the way at the top,
    in the circle of the big wigs,the so called royal familes,the fat cats,
    and the aristocratic. What happened ? One,they couldn’t get me in the
    loop of entrapment.Number 2 it caught them off guard that a so-called ex-con would be counselling the upper crust of the world society they
    needed to stop religious gang banging! I told them you guys are no
    different than the street cornner gang bangers because you are fighting
    and killing one another over lables,titles,turf,power and image!!!
    Imagine me speaking to the gaints and billionaires advising the to stop
    the madness and increase the peace!!!.

    Focus,common sense will tell you that those that don’t want to give up
    their royal class positions don’t want me talking to you !!!It is far
    more easier to defame me than face the reality. God is real,faith is
    good and religion per sa is not bad but it has been riged.

    Come to the round table.Phase one,tow and three. There will be three
    stages because it takes time to build and enlighten the public. I
    love america. I am excited over the fact that people from all over
    the world is right here in america. We can be a shining light and
    example for the world. Don’t let them dirty me up any futher trying
    to sabtoage this on ward movement of enlightenment.

    Will the real Abdul Majeed Askia step up.In the past I was an invited
    guest of Issues answers here in palmdale (cable T.V.Jarry Groom),a guest
    on Dr. Phil,White House,,USC,armie bases,international embacies and
    a host of colleges and of course a long time writer/publisher in
    the Antelope Valley Press,Daily News,LA Times,World news and now the
    AV Times. I seek to serve and to share my life and insight to help make
    the world a better place. As stated above,I intend to take the good,the
    bad and the ugly of my life to use it to help others.

    I am opened to sharing where ever I’m invited Mosque,Church,Colleges,
    seminars,synagogues,temples,centers whereever there are human beings!
    I am not a preacher (I am a public speaker). Like Jesus said, I came
    into the world to serve and not be served. I am a simple servant. No
    more no less.

    abdulaskia@yahoo.com/phone 323-945-9589

    • Matt Keltner
      April 12, 2012 at 11:25 am

      I like some of what you have to say here,

      “We must see the
      humanity in all of
      us,the self worth
      and sense of purpose
      in all of us,the God
      in all of us. ”

      But there are other times when you lose me. I would prefer to hear you in person to try to better understand you.

  3. James
    April 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    David Grajeda,
    You are a product of the Antelope Valley and all of its ‘greatness’. Like most people in the AV, you will amount to nothing, this is the biggest in a lifetime of disappointments for you and they will continue for that long, a LIFETIME. You are a sexual predator and a criminal who should not even be allowed around their own child. I am surprised you had as many votes as you did.. I thought child molesters were not allowed to vote as I assume it is their vote that you received.
    Good day to you criminal.

    • david G
      April 12, 2012 at 2:51 am

      [Comment removed at the request of the author]

      • ..
        April 12, 2012 at 5:53 am

        David… Most of us believe you are the Fxxxx idiot here. Your language and writing skills prove it.

        • James
          April 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

          [removed] Three years younger then you and still a minor is a child in my eyes and in the eyes of the law. You went after her because of how easily manipulated children are. I hope that spy in the sky keeps a close eye on you.

  4. Craig
    April 11, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Relax Nikki! That’s nothing compared to what Parris expects us to suck on.

  5. roger
    April 10, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    There is nothing like a woman to bring a man down his knees.

    • TruthsAvenger
      April 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      Kind of feel sorry for the G-man. Tasered by the man his woman replaced him with and by thousands of voters all in the space of 36 hours.

      That’s gotta hurt…….

      • david G
        April 11, 2012 at 12:57 am

        [Comment removed at the request of the author]

        • david G
          April 11, 2012 at 1:03 am

          [Comment removed at the request of the author]

          • TruthsAvenger
            April 11, 2012 at 1:39 am

            I bet the DA in your current case is loving you posting here. Should make for some very useful evidence against you. Perhaps you should listen to your lawyer when they tell you to be very careful what you say in a public forum.

          • david G
            April 11, 2012 at 2:21 am

            [Comment removed at the request of the author]

          • david G
            April 11, 2012 at 2:29 am

            [Comment removed at the request of the author]

          • TruthsAvenger
            April 11, 2012 at 8:49 am

            Yeah G-Man, you da man!!!! Standigs ups four our freedomz!! You go man!!!!

            Straight to prison that is because you are too damn dumb to realize that is where you are heading. The criminal justice system doesn’t much care for a loud-mouth punk who piles up arrest after arrest and publicly states he just doesn’t care.

            Don’t be too surprised to find yourself in prison gear by the end of 2012.

            I am sure your child will be so proud when asked what its father does when it has to answer: He’s in jail again.

          • Nikki
            April 11, 2012 at 10:01 am

            so we have a guy who wanted to be mayor telling citizens to suck on his nuts. Is that how you would have responded in City Hall there David if someone had a question or criticism?

          • david G
            April 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

            [Comment removed at the request of the author]

          • david G
            April 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

            [Comment removed at the request of the author]

          • TruthsAvenger
            April 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm


            The path you are on ends at two possible destinations: Jail or an early grave.

            If you really give a damn about your daughter you need to step off this path you are on. No one cares what you do or say, it is your actions that we dislike.

            Want to make a difference in this world? Go back to school, get a degree or a certificate in a solid trade. There are jobs out there in certain fields, even in this tough economy, but you need the education to get them. In less than 2 years – almost the same amount of time you have wasted on the City Council – you can be off the support checks from the government and earning your own way.

            It takes one simple first step and at the age of 26 it is time you took that step.

            Grow up.

            The rest will fall into place after that.

          • ..
            April 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

            “i didnt do anything wrong i just spoke my mind when i was my turn i didnt disrupt any meeting i was the only person who was intorupted”

            You are so dilusional. Being disruptive is exactly why you were arrested. You kept on yelling (not talking) after your time was up, and you left the podium.

  6. TruthsAvenger
    April 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Looks like Mr. Misunderstood has a new name:

    MR. LAST PLACE!!!!

    Bad night for the Grajeda boys tonight.

    Now here is the scary part. There are over 400 people in Lancaster stupid enough to vote for Isaac and 180 crazy enough to vote for David.

    Be afraid Lancaster, be very afraid.

  7. lucas
    April 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Is he a Criminal? is he a sex offender? What’s wrong with you cowboys and motorcycle riders. All these responses are Perris friends and Perris will try to make Grajeda look real bad. For the sake of God let’s get rid of Rex for good.

    • Observer
      April 10, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      Nobody needs to “make Grajeda look real bad”. That is something he has accomplished all on his own!

      • TheTruth
        April 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm

        No kidding! Can’t wait till G spins this one.. let us guess…the cops sent your ex to the movies next to your work to mess with you…or maybe Parris planted the taser in new boyfriend’s car….waawwaaahahahahahah. Loser. Matt S, stinker, april and …… where are you? Your hero needs your support….quick! Hey G, is this the same baby mama you got so mad at the captain for speaking to? LOL….

        • April 10, 2012 at 8:21 pm

          I’m here, not a smart move David, how ever you got in trouble but I will never believe everything the local newspaper prints. Guess Trex was not to blame….

        • david G
          April 11, 2012 at 12:34 am

          [Comment removed at the request of the author]

          • James
            April 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm

            [Flagged for inflammatory content and removed]

    • Palmdale_Steve
      April 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      I do wonder how he’s not on the registered sex offender for his self admitted Felony conviction for sex with a minor and a 10 month vacation in the state’s jail system.

      How’s that work?

      • david G
        April 11, 2012 at 12:25 am

        [Comment removed at the request of the author]

  8. Eloise
    April 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    “Grajeda said he had just gotten off work, as a dishwasher in a nearby restaurant, when he walked over to the Cinemark Movie Theater to reminisce about the first date he had with his former girlfriend.”

    ^^^ what a load of horse crap! And he thinks we’re all so stupid that we’re supposed to believe this?

    One of his thug friends probably sent him a text telling him that they saw his Ex GF at the cinema with her new BF and thats all it took to get this hot-head to go over and confront them.

    Thanks for the fanciful BS excuses David but I’m not buying them!

    • david G
      April 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      [Comment removed at the request of the author]

      • Observer
        April 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm

        It’s great that you work David! My hat’s off to you for that. However, I don’t think you’re ready to take on the office of mayor. And at this point in your life I don’t think you are “Mayor material”. Keep working. Get rid of your baggage and give it some more time.

      • Facts
        April 10, 2012 at 9:04 pm

        Yo G., I’m sure Sushi Zen appreciates your commercial. I guess this is one place that I will skip when looking to satisfy my sushi craving. Why? Because if management has such low standards in hiring their dishwashers, I definitely can’t trust their quality control in selecting and serving dead fish!

        • MB
          April 11, 2012 at 7:42 am

          Well I guess you will be going to a place that serves, “not dead fish” how does that work? you bite thier heads off and eat them quick before they die or do you eat them alive and eat the head last, what about beef? do you eat live cows Mr. or Ms. Facts?

    • John Howard
      April 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      You mean like how in his own video he heard that the sheriff were talking to his girlfriend and he confronted them at City hall before a criminal justice meeting.

      Yea, vote him into the mayor’s office.. so when he gets made at Scott Pelka for questioning the city’s spending on PARS he can come over the desk to kick his ass.. only to find out later PARS is not the Persian Restaurant in Palmdale but in fact Public Agency Retirement Services..

      That was seriously funny when David mistook PARS spending at the council meeting.. too bad too, they might have stayed in business longer.. Wait did David’s questions prompt Rex to get Scott Ehrlich to close Pars down? It’s about as likely as the rest of the B.S. being pitched about them online these days..

      • david G
        April 11, 2012 at 12:30 am

        [Comment removed at the request of the author]

        • david G
          April 11, 2012 at 12:30 am

          [Comment removed at the request of the author]

          • MB
            April 11, 2012 at 7:44 am

            and you can eat live Goldfish, that is how you do it, you like to eat live gold fish……humm now I get it.

  9. TruthsAvenger
    April 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    It isn’t that David is “misunderstood” by the community. It is that David has completely misunderstood that there is no room for someone like him in a civilized society.

  10. really
    April 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    What an asshat!!!

  11. JD
    April 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    For the love of God, no more coverage for this wack job after the elections. His 15 minutes of fame needs to burn out with the 15 votes that he will get from family members tonight.

    • Tommy T.
      April 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      lol !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • MB
      April 11, 2012 at 7:48 am

      don’t worry Parris will have us all scare about some other evil soon enough, and of course more lawsuits, lets see Prayer, lawsuit, section 8 another lawsuit, meanwhile they clean the City, how owns most of the BLVD?

Comments are closed.