Thursday, July 3, 2008

Assault and public intoxication in police blotter


Two cases of assault with a deadly weapon — the weapons being a vehicle and a golf club — as well as a public intoxication call made life interesting for local law enforcement officers.

June 25, 1:59 p.m. — While preparing to tow a vehicle with multiple parking tickets at 215 E. Figueroa St., a parking officer watched a man enter the vehicle and start the engine. After she placed her hands on the hood and stood in front of the car to prevent him from leaving, the suspect jerked the vehicle forward several times, hitting the officer in the legs. She ultimately managed to get out of the way of the car, allowing the suspect to speed off.
Authorities contacted the owner of the vehicle, a 28-year-old Santa Barbara woman, who said her boyfriend had taken off in her car. Police called the suspect in question, a 26-year-old local resident. During the subsequent phone conversation, the man denied hitting the officer and laughed several times, saying, “This is a joke.” Ultimately, authorities managed to talk the couple into coming to the police station for interviews.
The suspect told police he hadn’t been driving the car. Instead, he said, his girlfriend had been cheating on him with another man and argued it was her new beau that had left in the car. Parking officers and the tow truck driver, however, were fairly confident after seeing the suspect that he was the offending driver.
During a series of interviews, the girlfriend offered up several different stories, all of which turned out to be false. She eventually admitted to attempting to protect her boyfriend. Authorities booked the 26-year-old man for assault with a deadly weapon and held him in lieu of $30,000 bail. Police also arrested the 28-year-old woman for acting as an accessory.

July 1, 12:20 a.m. — A 48-year-old man involved in a longstanding dispute with his neighbors went outside to check on his vehicle in the 1000 block of Alphonse Street. Near the front of his car, he saw his 15-year-old neighbor hiding and confronted the teen, concerned that he might damage the vehicle. The teen responded by challenging his elder neighbor to fight. After posturing for a few moments, the man retrieved a golf club from his yard and returned to engage in a verbal argument with the 15-year-old.
During the quarrel, the teen bumped his chest into the man, who responded by hitting the 15-year-old in the face with the golf club in a jabbing motion — the blow resulting in a chipped tooth. The teen then punched and tackled his neighbor. As family members from both sides became involved in the fracas, police arrived and separated the two feuding parties.
The 48-year-old man initially denied swinging the golf club, but later admitted to giving the teen a poke in the face, saying he was concerned the young man would attack due to his agitated state. Authorities booked the 48-year-old into jail for assault with a deadly weapon in lieu of $20,000 bail.

July 1, 9 p.m. — An officer on patrol noticed a man standing on the sidewalk near McDonald’s, 29 N. Milpas St. As he watched, the man fell into the street and was almost hit by several vehicles. When the officer approached in full uniform, the suspect was urinating on a newspaper stand and didn’t seem to realize police were nearby. Authorities noted the man had an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, soiled clothing and unsteady balance — telltale signs that earned the 36-year-old a trip to jail for public intoxication.

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