South Lake Tahoe City Council candidate arrested after break-in at ex-girlfriend’s home

Kevin Brunner, a candidate running for a seat on the South Lake Tahoe City Council, was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home and burning some belongings.

Brunner, 30, of South Lake Tahoe remained in custody Tuesday afternoon at the El Dorado County Jail. He faces felony charges of arson and vandalism causing property damage and a misdemeanor charge of trespassing, according to jail records. His bail was set at $35,000.

The arrest occurred Saturday morning at the apartment in the 1100 block of Third Street in South Lake Tahoe. Officers received a call about 6:30 a.m. reporting Brunner had forced his way into the home, committing vandalism on the property and burning some items taken from the home, said Sgt. Scott Crivelli, a spokesman for the South Lake Tahoe Police Department.

Crivelli said the officers received information at the scene that Brunner had been in previous relationship with the resident and he did not live in the home.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune first reported Brunner’s arrest on Tuesday. Police told the Tribune that Brunner had seen his ex-girlfriend talking to another man at an area casino before he reportedly broke into her home.

In an jail interview with the Tribune, Brunner called the police allegations against him “absurd.” He said he works as a security guard at Hard Rock Lake Tahoe, he had been living with his girlfriend and didn’t burn anything. Brunner also said he threw items out the door to chase off a bear trying to break into the home, before he fell through the window and became concussed.

Brunner moved to South Lake Tahoe in 2012. In a news release announcing his candidacy for City Council in the November election, Brunner is described as a man who became in 2020 “the voice for the Black Lives Matter movement in the city” and has embraced opening communication between law enforcement and the public.

“I found that they were willing to listen, and I was able to work with the different agencies to speak to the need for equality and compassion from law enforcement and other city officials,” Brunner said in the news release.