Deputy Sue Austin always gets her man. She knew attorney Richard Pinto, a fugitive from justice, was hiding out in his office on Friday. Pinto's door was locked and the lights were off. But Austin said that through a window she glimpsed the top of Pinto's head poking from beneath his desk.
While Austin and others took turns tugging on the door, Pinto, they said, was on the other side trying to keep it shut. "He was standing there pulling on that door but we got him," Austin said with a laugh.
After being tossed in the hoosegow and threatened with hanging, Pinto finally relented and paid his debt, Austin said.
Pinto is a real attorney. Austin was only a deputy for the day. It was all a part of the two-week-long San Juan Capistrano Heritage Festival that coincides with the return of the swallows but which helps entertain tourists and residents.
Hoosegow Day is an annual event that has been around for at least 20 years, said Fiesta Assn. Parade Chairman Bill Fielder. "It's all tongue-in-cheek. But it raises about $1,000 to $1,200," which helps pay for the two-week festival, Fielder said.