Monday, November 12, 2007

Police make arrest in stabbing at strip club


Santa Barbara Police have arrested two men who they say stabbed a man three times in the parking lot of Spearmint Rhino in October, after the man they originally attempted to assault escaped.
The assault occurred on Oct. 14 at 2:20 a.m. and Lt. Paul McCaffrey, a spokesman for the police department, said the two men who were arrested, Wilfredo Medina 24, of Goleta, and Martin Mendez, 23, of Santa Barbara, are both gang members.

McCaffrey said Medina and Mendez had a preexisting feud with a man waiting outside of the business, but the targeted man realized the approaching danger and ran inside.
“Frustrated in their attempt to assault their intended victim, the suspects initiated a confrontation with another man, who had no connection to either party,” McCaffrey said.
He said the suspects began punching the victim, a 28-year-old Santa Barbara resident, while a third suspect, armed with a knife, attacked the victim, stabbing him three times.
McCaffrey said the suspects fled the scene and the victim was treated for his injuries and later released from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Medina and Mendez were arrested by gang enforcement detectives on Nov. 9. Medina was booked into county jail for alleged assault with a deadly weapon and Mendez for alleged assault with a deadly weapon and violation of his parole.
McCaffrey said no suspects have yet been arrested in connection with the July 16 murder of 16-year-old Lorenzo Valentin Carachure, who was stabbed to death near his home on the 700 block of San Pascual St.
Also stabbed in that incident was a 19-year-old, who was identified as Carachure’s cousin, and a 17-year-old. Both of these victims were treated and released from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Other weekend gang crime included a fight at Milpas and Yanonali Streets, at which several men were detained.
McCaffrey said detectives determined that three Carpinteria gang members, each armed with short baseball bats, took a bus trip to Santa Barbara’s lower east side to meet a group of females.
After meeting with the girls, McCaffrey said the three gang members became involved in a confrontation with rival gang members while walking down Milpas Street. Part of this confrontation was witnessed by a 51-year-old man driving a work van.
“He followed the suspects in his vehicle, honking his horn and flashing his lights in an effort to attract attention and prevent an assault,” McCaffrey said. “While following the group on Milpas Street, a brick and a bicycle were thrown at his van, smashing the windshield.”
He said officers eventually contacted the three Carpinteria gang members, identified as Melchor Jaimes, 20, as well as a 16 and 17-year-old, inside of a McDonalds, where they were arrested for weapons violations. Police also arrested Saul Anthony Cruz, 18, of Montecito, for providing a false name and for probation violation.

Later that same night
Police also responded to a large fight outside of Palmieri’s Cocktail Lounge bar at 1431 San Andres St. last Friday at 11:50 p.m., where between 15 and 20 men were seen throwing punches, kicking and “swinging wildly,” McCaffrey said.
“The participants scattered as police stepped in to protect fallen combatants from being punched and kicked in the head,” McCaffrey said, adding that three men were arrested for disturbing the peace by fighting in public.
Those men were Diego Angel Guttered, 23, Patrick Tobin, 24, both of Santa Maria, and Lorenzo Arenas, 29, of Santa Barbara.
“The reasons for the fight depended on who was asked,” McCaffrey said.

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