Carlos Zapata Receives Long-Anticipated Temporary Restraining Order; At High School Graduation

Class of 2021 Foothill High School seniors graduate from their Palo Cedro high school Thursday evening; the same night Carlos Zapata was served with a temporary restraining order. Photo courtesy of Ronda Snyder.

For the rest of Carlos Zapata’s daughter’s life, she will remember her high school graduation from Foothill High School in Palo Cedro as the night her father was publicly served with a restraining order that he’d evaded for nearly a month. A milestone event that should have been hers to celebrate was hijacked by the consequences of her father’s poor impulse control and blatant aggressive behavior.


Restraining order background

The first temporary restraining order was filed on May 6 by Nathan Pinkney, who goes by the comedy name Nathan Blayze, who’s created several video parodies in which he’s satirized Zapata and the Red White and Blueprint movement. The most recently filed TRO was filed on May 20 after Zapata evaded being served so long that a new order was required.

Before the assault, Zapata posted a message on social media in a video that seemed targeted at Pinkney.

Zapata made good on his threat to show up at Pinkney’s place of work — Market Street Blade and Barrel, a downtown Redding restaurant — so Zapata could “talk”  with Pinkney about how Zapata felt about the parodies that mocked him.

Some of Pinkney’s most popular posts feature the Zapata-inspired Buford White, who wears red flannel shirts and what appears to be a woman’s rainhat.


Pinkney was fired from that job shortly after he says he was assaulted by Zapata, who first threw a drink at Pinkney from a glass that broke, and shortly afterward Zapata accompanied a couple who further assaulted Pinkney. The female assailant, Elizabeth Bailey, works for Zapata at his Palomino Room restaurant in Red Bluff. The identity of her male companion/co-assailant has not been made public.

So far, no charges have been brought against either Bailey or her companion, despite a Redding Police report that referred to Pinkney as the victim in the altercation. The Shasta County District Attorney’s office is investigating the incident.

Redding attorney Lisa Jensen filed the temporary restraining order on behalf of Pinkney, her client. A News Cafe reported the challenges Pinkney and his attorney faced in serving Zapata.

The TRO contained an attachment with Jensen’s statement that explained the necessity of the TRO against Zapata.

Last night Pinkney filmed a two-part Facebook video that documented the process of serving Zapata in Palo Cedro at Foothill High School. Jensen said she has has another, more detailed video of the event, which she may release later.

Within hours of being served, Zapata played the victim card on social media, feigning surprise and indignation, despite being exposed to more than a week’s worth of social media posts in which Pinkney’s lawyer and support team publicly disclosed their plan to serve Zapata at the site of his daughter’s high school graduation.

Even so, Zapata blamed Pinkney.

“Can you believe that classless monkey just served me a TRO at my daughter’s graduation? These animals have no self respect. We will beat them in court,” Zapata said in his first version, followed by a second message in which he swapped out his initial word “monkey” for “animal”.

The cringeworthy monkey title comes just days after Zapata — who’s often said he’s not racist — also referred on social media to satirist Pinkney, who’s African American, as “boy” in a video.

When someone on social media took Zapata to task for calling Pinkney a monkey – an obviously racist slur – Zapata countered with a statement that only made him look more racist, by saying that “monkey” was better than “the alternate word” – leaving little speculation about what that alternate word might be.

And even after he received the temporary restraining order, Zapata continued his verbal attacks and barely veiled threats upon Pinkney, which received pushback by some people on social media.

What’s notable is that on Zapata’s social media he admitted he’d been served with a temporary restraining order. Zapata’s admission and knowledge of the event renders the TRO valid, even though seconds after being served, Zapata brushed away the papers.

As Pinkney put it, Zapata could have avoided any potential embarrassment to himself, his daughter and his family, had Zapata only “been a man” and volunteered to accept the inevitable paperwork weeks ago.

As usual, Zapata is his own worst enemy. In a recent LA Times article Zapata disclosed his belief why he’d never be served with a restraining order, and was quoted saying, “There is not a person in this county who is going to serve that f—-thing.”

Pinkney said it’s irrelevant whether Zapata actually took the papers home with him. Zapata acknowledged his name, and was served.

“Just because baby doesn’t eat his carrots doesn’t mean he wasn’t served them,” Pinkney said.

Today, Pinkney provided this following statement to A News Cafe about his reaction to Zapata finally being served with the temporary restraining order that has taken nearly a month to see through:

“I feel happy. Happy that a group of people with a common desire to simply see justice take place took time out of their own lives and problems to help serve him, and not for me, for everyone. This has never been about me, I’m just the lucky face that got punched. This guy is a danger to all of us. He lies, he threatens, he bullies, he thinks he’s Don Carlos of Redding. He’s not. The service was very successful. There was no altercation, the server identified him, and he acknowledged it before he was offered papers, whether he took them or not. One of his goons followed us out pretty far. We have been trying for weeks to serve, no LE in the county would do it. We’ve had people go to his restaurant, his ranch, the Board of Supervisor meetings, etc. This guy is just avoiding service like no other.”

Nathan Pinkney, aka comedian Nathan Blayze.

Zapata evaded multiple TRO service attempts

Since the assault, Pinkney’s attorney and friends attempted numerous times to serve Zapata with the temporary retraining order packet, to no avail. According to Jensen, The failed attempts to serve Zapata included, but were not limited to:

• Attempt at Soundhouse recording studio on 5/10
• Attempt at BOS meeting on 5/11
• Sheriff given to serve on 5/10 (they usually do 3 tries)
• Professional female server to Zapata’s home the morning of 5/18
• Professional female server at Zapata’s Palomino Room restaurant in Red Bluff the evening of 5/18
• Professional female server at Zapata’s home the morning of  5/26
• Professional male server at Zapata’s home the morning of 5/27 morning. (Saw vehicles present; knocked on two neighbors’ houses, spoke to neighbors who said they thought Zapata wasn’t home.)
• Professional male server at Zapata’s Palomino Room restaurant in Red Bluff the evening of 5/27, was told Zapata was not available
• Professional male server at Zapata’s Palomino Room restaurant in Red Bluff the evening of 5/28, was told Zapata was not available
• Professional female server at Zapata’s home the evening of 5/28; no answer at door, despite the presence of vehicles
• Friend of Pinkney’s attempted to serve the TRO on 5/29 at location where it was discovered Zapata’s bulls were taken
• Another Pinkney friend attempted to serve the TRO on 5/29 at the location of Zapata’s bulls.
• Private server attempted to serve Zapata at his home the morning of 6/1.

On May 10 Carlos Zapata posted this message on Instagram about the latest Red White and Blueprint podcast while one of Nathan Pinkney’s friends/process servers stood outside the studio for hours waiting for Zapata to emerge from the studio to serve him with a temporary restraining order.

It appeared that because Zapata knew that Board of Supervisors meetings were a likely location for him to be served, he took to social media and suggested his followers no longer attend the meetings, ostensibly because the meetings had become a “spectacle”.

High school graduation: the last resort as a restraining-order location

In the hours since Zapata was successfully served, some people on social media have criticized Pinkney and his attorney’s decision to serve Zapata with a temporary restraining order at his daughter’s graduation. Jensen anticipated this negative reaction by Zapata and his followers, but emphasized that the graduation site was not her first choice. Ideally, Zapata could have accepted service any of the myriad times attempted by Jensen’s private process servers, friends, and even possibly by the sheriff, who may or may not have “bothered” to serve Zapata.

“I wouldn’t have served him there if he hadn’t avoided my private process server like nine times,” Jensen said.

She added that the day one of Pinkney’s friends stood outside the Soundhouse studio for a number of hours as Zapata was assumed to be inside doing a podcast, Woody Clendenen, Zapata’s fellow Red White and Blueprint partner/Cottonwood Militia leader called the Redding Police Department and complained of harassment outside the studio. According to the server, when an RPD unit responded, the officer drove up along the sidewalk, and without leaving his vehicle asked the server a few questions, then said the server had a legal right to be there as long as he wasn’t harassing anyone. The server said the officer smiled and gave a fist bump to him before driving away.

At last, Zapata was served

Jensen said she and the woman who served Zapata were nicely dressed, keeping with appropriate graduation attire. Zapata was served at 6:58 p.m., well before the 8 p.m. graduation ceremony. The serving happened on school property, but not on the graduation grounds.

Zapata’s wife was with him. His graduating daughter was not. Jensen said she and her server “blended in” – were pleasant to passersby and deliberately tried to serve Zapata well before the start of the graduation ceremony. Jensen said the server approached Zapata in a “disarmingly friendly manner” and shook his hand.

“He’s the one who was shockingly profane at a high school,” Jensen said. “As we were retreating, a man with a gray beard followed us most of the way out.”

Jensen said that when Zapata realized he’d been served, he called the process server a “classless bitch” and a “c–t”, which didn’t shock Jensen, as it’s par for the course for Zapata.

“He called Nate a monkey on social media,” Jensen said. “He personally insulted me when I responded to his belittling comments on the restraining order on your Facebook page.”

Zapata’s threats and personal attacks are among the reasons Jensen doesn’t buy Zapata’s recent complaints about how “classless” it was for someone to serve him with a restraining order at his daughter’s graduation. Jensen said that “Don Carlos” could “do the whole, ‘on this, the day of my daughter’s graduation’ all he wants,” but his message lacks credibility in the face of his past behavior.

“I’m relieved that we finally got him served. I did not owe him a reprieve, just like the world doesn’t owe him a pass for assaulting someone just because he’s well-liked in certain circles.”

Serving Zapata with the TRO was a frustrating process for Pinkney, Jensen and his friends and supporters. It was a long time in coming and  required the coordinated efforts of an entire team. Now that Zapata’s been served, Jensen can reflect upon the process. She recalled something unexpectedly positive that occurred Thursday night, after Zapata was successfully served. It happened after the team had left the school and assembled at their designated meet-up location.

“There was a moment I caught a big smile on Nathan’s face,” Jensen said.

“I wish I could have gotten a picture, but it’s going to be burned in my memory. I saw in that smile relief, joy, appreciation, and in that brief flash of emotion, the baggage he has been carrying around for the last month seemed a little lighter.”

Stay tuned for Part 2: Carlos Zapata’s Temporary Restraining Order Repercussions

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate. Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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