Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Man with gun arrested


Police arrested a Goleta man after security officers at El Paseo restaurant spotted a handgun in his possession as he attempted to enter the establishment early Saturday morning.
Authorities received the call at 1:04 a.m. and arrived at the restaurant to find security detaining Javier Esparza, 43, police said. Officers approached the suspect, who tried to walk into the bar.

After stopping the man, authorities noted he appeared intoxicated and would not follow directions, according to police reports. After putting him in a control hold, officers told Esparza he was being handcuffed to allow them to investigate safely, police said.
The suspect continued to struggle, but was ultimately handcuffed.
Officers found a loaded 9mm, semi-automatic pistol in his front waistband, Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte of the Santa Barbara Police Department said, along with a small quantity of marijuana and a bottle of vodka.
Esparza told authorities he carries a gun because gang members stabbed his cousins, according to police documents. A criminal history check revealed he had multiple prior felony convictions.
Police booked him in lieu of $35,000 bail for possession of a concealed firearm as a felon and possession of marijuana.

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