When Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department learned of William Ente imprisoned and isolated in his Santa Maria, California home, the Department chose not to respond. William, now twenty-five, was diagnosed with autism as a child. He has largely been denied contact with the outside world since age seventeen.
Sergeant Richard Brittingham barked a hearty guffaw at the suggestion that deputies should protect William. When Sergeant Brittingham controlled his laughter, he exclaimed:
That would be a stretch beyond imagination!