Monday, July 7, 2008

Drug use, public exposure and theft in blotter


In recent days, Santa Barbara police dealt with a man exposing himself, a suspect using cocaine in the bathroom of a bar and a construction equipment thief, among other interesting characters.

July 3, 5:15 p.m. — Witnesses reported seeing a man exposing himself at Ralphs, 100 W. Carrillo St. Upon arrival, an officer spoke to one witness who said the suspect had walked away on Carrillo Street. As the two spoke, the man returned with his pants falling down and genitals exposed. Approached by the police officer, the 59-year-old man stated he wanted to shop at Ralphs. The officer ordered him to pull up his pants and said he was not welcome at the grocery store.
As the officer entered the store to speak with the manager, the suspect came in through the north entrance. After the officer ordered him to leave, the man initially refused before following the witness outside. As he lunged toward the woman with an open hand, the officer stepped in to arrest him for trespassing. Authorities booked the suspect into jail in lieu of $2,500 bail.

July 3, 8:55 p.m. — After being called to a bar in the 400 block of State Street, authorities were told a suspect had been using cocaine in the bathroom. The manager pointed out a group of men standing on the sidewalk outside. When the men spotted police, they started walking away. Officers ordered them to stop and two of the men complied. A third, later identified as a 25-year-old Santa Barbara man, continued walking away. Police caught up to him, drew a Taser and ordered him to stop and sit on the curb.
After complying initially, the man stood up and bolted into the street as police conducted their investigation. An officer managed to Taser the suspect and take him into custody. An initial search revealed a small amount of marijuana. The 25-year-old denied using or possessing any cocaine, even after being told that additional felony charges could be filed if any contraband was found while he was being booked into jail. During a subsequent search at County Jail, authorities discovered approximately two grams of cocaine in bindles in his rear pocket. Police booked him on $20,000 bail for possession of cocaine and marijuana, resisting arrest and knowingly bringing drugs into jail.

July 4, 2 a.m. — A resident left his home in the 400 block of W. Ortega St. to retrieve an item from his Ford truck at 1 a.m. when he noticed the unlocked toolbox mounted in the rear bed had been opened. As he investigated closer, he discovered a suspect crouching next to the truck with two metal grinders and a circular saw at his feet, items valued at $600.
The truck owner immediately recognized his tools and detained the man before flagging down a passing officer. The suspect, a 20-year-old local man, admitted openly to stealing the items but said he did so under duress, telling police he had been forced to steal them at knifepoint by a “cholo.” Authorities noted no one else was spotted in the area.

July 4, 8:30 p.m. — A large group of gang-associated suspects were spotted fighting near the volleyball courts on East Beach. Authorities arrested four men involved in the altercation — a 19-year-old Oxnard man, a 24-year-old Santa Barbara man, a 25-year-old Santa Barbara man and a 20-year-old Ventura man. All four were booked into jail in lieu of $2,500 bail for fighting.

July 5, 12:35 a.m. — Witnesses helped police track down a man suspected of knocking another man unconscious on the sidewalk in the 500 block of State Street. Bystanders told authorities they saw the suspect, later identified as a 23-year-old Santa Barbara man, talking to the victim. Witnesses then heard the “thump” of the suspect punching the victim in the face. As the man fled on foot, the victim fell to the sidewalk and hit his head, knocking him unconscious and causing a large amount of blood to pool on the walkway.
Medics later treated the man and took him to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for evaluation of his head injury. Witnesses helped authorities locate the suspect in a nearby bar on Ortega Street. Two witnesses positively identified the man as the suspect involved in the assault. Police arrested him for battery causing great bodily harm, booking him in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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