Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Police deal with wide array of cases


Indecent exposure, hit-and-run collisions, forgery and alleged sexual battery are among the cases Santa Barbara police have worked in recent days.

June 16, 4:34 a.m. — When a man called police to report his car had been stolen, authorities ran the license plate and discovered it had been involved in a hit-and-run collision at 11:30 the evening before that had left the vehicle totaled. While speaking to the car’s owner, police noticed his roommate apparently attempting to hide under his bed covers. The roommate, a 33-year-old man, gave an implausible excuse for injuries to his head and body that appeared consistent with a traffic collision. He finally told police he had been in the car and said it was an accident, even though officers had made no mention of a crash. The car’s owner said his roommate did not have permission to use the vehicle. During an interview at the police station, the suspect admitted to taking the car keys and going for a drive with a friend. On the way back into town, the suspect was traveling at a high rate of speed and hit the Milpas Street roundabout, flipping the car before fleeing the scene. Authorities booked the man for vehicle theft in lieu of $25,000 bail.

June 19, 3:52 p.m. — Police arrived at East Beach in the 1100 block of East Cabrillo Boulevard after a man reported seeing another man walking along the beach with his boxer shorts down and genitals exposed. The witness said the man walked at least 100 yards exposed while the witness’s 7-year-old daughter was in the area. Police found the 22-year-old Santa Maria man in his car, lying down in the back seat with his boxers below his knees and jeans in his hand, slightly covering his genitals. The suspect told police he went into the water in his boxers but didn’t remove them until he entered his car. He admitted to drinking at least three beers. Police arrested the man for indecent exposure.

June 19, 5:45 p.m. — Police spoke with a 78-year-old woman who said her son, 51, stole a checkbook from her and had been cashing checks for the past two weeks totaling $3,000. Later that day, at 10 p.m., authorities caught up with the suspect, asleep in his car in a parking lot near 3400 State St. A search of his vehicle turned up a small amount of cocaine, two checks from the suspect’s mother in his wallet and the stolen checkbook in the front seat. Officers arrested the man for possession of cocaine, forgery, elder abuse and parole violation.

June 19, 11:15 p.m. — Police arrested a 19-year-old Santa Barbara man after he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman, her age unknown, when both were heavily intoxicated. During their investigation, authorities established that the incident began when the suspect, alleged victim and two others started drinking at Santa Barbara home. After drinking heavily throughout the evening, the suspect and alleged victim decided to hop into the hot tub while the other two passed out in the house.
The woman got in naked while the 19-year-old had his shorts on, police said. The suspect told police the woman had allowed him to grab her buttocks and breasts, and kiss her neck and arms. The alleged victim admitted to getting into the hot tub naked but told authorities she told him to stop when he started making advances. After he pinned her against the wall, she reportedly screamed for help and the other woman ran out to stop the suspect, who ran into the house to find the other man.
The two men became caught up in an escalating physical confrontation, police said. The 19-year-old reportedly grabbed a rock and hit the other man in the head several times. He also punched and kicked him in the head several more times, knocking him unconscious by the time police arrived. The injured man was taken to the hospital for treatment and officers arrested the suspect for sexual battery and assault with a deadly weapon, booking him in lieu of $30,000 bail. Police noted all four were heavily intoxicated.

June 21, 5:40 p.m. — Authorities received reports of a hit-and-run collision involving a pedestrian and responded to the intersection of Cabrillo Boulevard and Garden Street. Police found a 14-year-old boy at the scene being treated by paramedics. Witnesses told police a white SUV had hit the boy while he was in the crosswalk. Other witnesses on the 500 block of State Street flagged down officers and pointed out a white SUV. Police stopped the vehicle a few blocks away on Thompson Avenue and spoke to the 31-year-old man in the driver’s seat. Along with the driver, an adult woman and four children aged 12, 10, 5 and 2 were in the vehicle. Following a DUI investigation, officers arrested the driver for felony hit-and-run, DUI, driving on a suspended license, no proof of insurance and child endangerment. The victim’s injuries were not considered life-threatening.

June 22, 12:10 a.m. — After watching a 24-year-old man climb onto the roof of Fashion Optical, 1433 State St., and remove a skylight before climbing back down and breaking open the rear door, a witness called police to report a burglary in progress. Authorities arrived and surrounded the building before entering with police K-9 “Brag.” After calling on the 24-year-old to give up and exit the building, police put Brag to work. The K-9 found the suspect inside, who decided to fight with the police dog. Brag pulled the suspect from his hiding place to the officers at the door, who arrested the 24-year-old without incident. Police later determined the suspect had been attempting to pry open another door inside when Brag caught up with him. The 24-year-old was recently released from prison, on parole for commercial burglary. Police arrested him for burglary and parole violation.

June 22, 1:25 p.m. — After receiving a call from airport security that a woman had been detained for possession of a controlled substance, officers headed out to speak with the 53-year-old suspect. Transportation Security Administration agents told police that the woman had tickets for a flight to Las Vegas. But as she passed through the security checkpoint, authorities found a white powdery substance in a check box while searching her purse. Officers searched the purse and found four plastic baggies and a paper bindle containing approximately 11 grams of suspected cocaine, along with $2,300 in cash. Police arrested the woman for possession of cocaine for sale and transportation of a controlled substance.

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