Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Drunks and thieves keep cops busy


Santa Barbara police dealt with a typical quota of drunks and thieves during the holiday weekend.

May 23, 12:50 a.m. — Security personnel at the Wildcat Lounge, 15 W. Ortega St., politely asked an intoxicated patron to leave the establishment only to discover the inebriated man still had enough coordination to swing a beer bottle. Police officers with the Nightlife Enforcement Team arrived at the bar to find security detaining the 28-year-old Ventura man. The suspect, with slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, told authorities he had approximately nine beers that evening and did not remember what had happened inside the lounge. A bouncer told police he had asked the man to leave when the suspect hit him on the left ear with a beer bottle. Officers took the man into custody for assault with a deadly weapon and public intoxication, holding him on $30,000 bail.

May 23, 12:15 p.m. — A $1.29 bag of Cheetos landed a 33-year-old transient in jail after he nicked the snack from a local gas station. After getting a call from employees at Circle K, 200 S. Milpas St., reporting the theft, police found a man sitting on a bench at the Cabrillo Ball Field who matched the description of the thief. After bringing him back to the convenience store, police used video surveillance footage to verify the man had stolen the bag of chips.
A background check of the suspect revealed numerous prior arrests, convictions and jail time for petty theft. En route to County Jail for booking, the man became angry and attempted to kick out the windows of the patrol car four to five times, causing major damage to the window frame. Authorities ultimately booked the man in lieu of $20,000 bail for theft with priors and felony vandalism.

May 24, 1:10 a.m. — After being denied entrance to a bar in the 500 block of State Street in the early morning hours, a group of men failed to take the rejection in stride, instead threatening to kill the bouncer who turned them away. Several moments later, police officers spoke with the bouncer, who pointed out a group of four men crossing State Street in the middle of the block as the suspects in question. The security guard also made special note of one man, later identified as a 27-year-old local resident, who reportedly said, “I’m going to kill you,” before adding as he walked away, “I’m going to come back and kill you.”
Officers approached the four men, all Santa Barbara residents who apparently were not in the mood to deal with law enforcement. Police had to Taser the 27-year-old man as he struggled with officers; authorities ultimately booked him into jail in lieu of $50,000 bail for resisting arrest and making threats.
An 18-year-old man also struggled with police and tossed a knife on the ground during the tussle. Officers ultimately brought him under control and arrested him for possession and concealment of a deadly weapon, as well as resisting arrest. A 22-year-old man, also fighting with officers as they attempted to detain him, earned a trip to jail for resisting arrest.
The fourth man, a 20-year-old, ran from the scene with officers in hot pursuit. During the sprint down State Street, the suspect dropped two empty glass bottles on the street. Police finally caught up with the man near Haley Street and Tasered him after he continued to struggle. Authorities booked him into jail for possession and concealment of a deadly weapon and resisting arrest.

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