Thursday, March 27, 2008

Another busy week for authorities


Santa Barbara police stayed busy with a marijuana bust, public intoxication, a drunk driver and saliva attacks during the past few days.

March 22, 8:30 p.m. — Narcotics detectives served a search warrant in the 500 block of Coronel Pl. at a home suspected of being used for the cultivation and sale of marijuana. A 20-year-old man answered the door and attempted to prevent officers from entering, despite being told they had a search warrant. After several attempts to pass him, police finally cuffed the man after a brief struggle. Inside, they found a 19-year-old man and two closets modified with lighting, ventilation, fans and drip line. In one closet, officers found seven mature marijuana plants. In the other, they discovered 28 immature plants. The 20-year-old told officers he had a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana and that the 19-year-old had nothing to do with the marijuana. After failing to turn up a medicinal marijuana card, officers booked the suspects on $30,000 for possession and cultivation of marijuana for sale, as well as resisting arrest.

March 22, 8:58 p.m. — Officers on patrol along the first block of E. Haley St. spotted a man stumbling and having trouble keeping his balance near the trash can at City Lot 11. After contacting the 50-year-old man, police noticed he was attempting to hide items in his hand that appeared to be jewelry. After an officer asked to see the items, the suspect handed over one ring and pocketed the rest. Police noted the ring still had packaging from Macy’s attached. The man said he had purchased the jewelry for his wife, but could not provide a receipt. When authorities, noticing an odor of alcohol, watery eyes, and thick speech, asked if he had been drinking, the suspect reportedly replied, “I am drunk.” He later admitted to stealing the rings, valued at $135. Police booked him on $20,000 bail for theft with a prior conviction and public intoxication.

March 23, 3:49 a.m. — An unknown suspect with a gun tucked into his waistband approached a 21-year-old man stopped in his car at 700 W. Valerio St. After the suspect pounded on the window, the victim drove away from the area without incident.

March 25, 10:18 p.m. — Police finally stopped a 48-year-old man at 1400 State St. who had been involved in at least four separate traffic collisions moments earlier. Despite his vehicle sustaining major front-end damage, the suspect left the scene of each accident. Witnesses followed the man until officers caught up. He failed to stop for police until he had traveled another half a mile. After poor performances on field sobriety tests and registering a blood-alcohol content of .232, nearly three times the legal limit, the suspect was booked on $25,000 bail for hit-and-run and DUI. Authorities said he has prior DUI convictions.

March 26, 8:40 a.m. — A woman called police to report being spit on by a man at 834 State St. Officers arrived at the scene and detained the suspect, a 27-year-old man. The victim told police he had spit on her as they approached each other, then laughed and dared her to call police. The spit landed on her arm. The suspect was booked into jail on $2,500 bail and a recommendation that his mental health be evaluated prior to his release.

March 26, 12:05 p.m. — Officers responded to the 400 block of Chapala St. after receiving reports of a man brandishing a weapon. An investigation revealed the suspect, a 32-year-old man, had apparently been arguing with his brother about drinking when the victim seized a bottle of schnapps from the suspect’s pocket. The suspect went into the kitchen and returned with an 8-inch butcher knife. Although he held it in a threatening manner toward the victim, the suspect then began stabbing himself in the arm. Police said he was admittedly suicidal. He was booked into jail on $2,500 bail.

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