Wednesday, February 13, 2008

DNA leads to arrest in brutal hotel assault


More than a year after a man was stabbed multiple times with a broken glass bottle in his hotel room at the Santa Barbara Inn, police say they have arrested a Goleta man who was identified as the suspect through DNA testing.
The assault occurred two days before Christmas in 2006, when police say 23-year-old Tomas Obispo Morales scaled a wall at the Cabrillo Blvd. inn, entered the second floor hotel room through an open door on the balcony and attacked a 56-year-old woman and her 59-year-old husband.

“At about 4:40 [a.m.] the woman awoke to a male intruder standing over her,” said Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte, a police spokesman. “As she tried to alert her husband, the suspect placed his hand over her mouth attempting to stifle her.”
During the scuffle, Duarte said the husband awoke, realized the suspect was assaulting his wife, and was then also attacked by the suspect.
The victim was struck several times in the face and torso and heard the suspect said he had a knife, he said.
The fight continued until the female victim turned the lights on. After the suspect fled, Duarte said the male victim realized he had been stabbed.
“He staggered to the front desk, bleeding heavily from numerous wounds,” he said.
Once at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Duarte said it was discovered that the victim received numerous stab wounds to his abdomen, hands, chin and neck.
“The wounds to the abdomen were deep gouging puncture type wounds indicating the suspect was plunging the weapon, later learned to be a broken bottle, directly into the victim’s abdomen,” Duarte said.
While investigating the scene, police discovered two different trails of blood, one of which belonged to the suspect.
Duarte said the suspect’s blood was collected and sent to a Department of Justice laboratory for testing.
In January 2007, Morales was arrested for a sexual assault and as result, authorities submitted a sample of his DNA into the CODIS (Combined DNA Index System). Duarte said the DNA found at the scene matched Morales’ CODIS sample.
The police department was notified of the match on Monday and authorities arrested Morales on the first block of Magnolia Avenue in Goleta on Tuesday, Duarte said.
Morales was booked into county jail for attempted murder and burglary of an inhabited residence.
Duarte said the couple that was assaulted was notified of the arrest. He said the victim who was stabbed has recovered from his injuries.
Duarte noted that this type of incident is relatively rare in Santa Barbara and credited the CODIS system for helping solve the case. He said he did not know why it took the Department of Justice one year to come up with the match.
“We’re very happy that a system like CODIS is in place,” Duarte said. “It does afford law enforcement a tool to catch the guilty party and it also serves to exonerate individuals.”


Anonymous said...

big surprise that it was a hispanic man. either illegal, or an anchor baby, whose parents were too busy working five different jobs to pay attention to what is sure to be one of many kids they have.
downfall of the USA right here folks.

Aaron said...

Big surprise that someone who posted such an ignorant comment used a bravado name like "anonymous." Your quasi detective work deserves recognition. Why not let credit be give where credit is due? Every coward needs a scapegoat, and I guess hispanic people are yours.

tbone said...

you can't deny the statistics...

Aaron said...

You are right, the stats don't lie. 100% of cowards need a scapegoat. Also, you can't deny that only 12% of people in this county's jail are illegal immigrants either. I'm not denying the fact that this particular criminal is hispanic, and he committed a heinous crime. But, stereotyping does not help the problem. If that was the case, we could say big surprise that the guy who shot up the University of Northern Illinois is white. Just think about that when you dine at your favorite mexican food place tonight.

tbone said...

we would have mexican food in california, regardless if illegals inhabited the area. there are plenty of hardworking legal immigrants from south of the border here in california.
the problem is all of the illegals and anchor babies who have zero interest in assimilating to the american way of life. because of their refusal to learn English, (the official language of california) they have a hard time in school, and in turn getting a decent job. gangs and crimes are the next best option for them. they certainly dont want to go home, so they are busy trying to turn SB and the rest of california into a third world cesspool like the one they left. sure makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?
Stereotyping is so easy, when the shoe fits. and dont forget that 30% of the criminals in federal prisons are illegals as well. 12% is a fairly high number for SB county though. keep in mind, that over 50% are hispanic, and a lot of them are anchor babies as well.