A suspected gang member was arrested with a loaded weapon, and numerous other people were cited for a variety of offenses Wednesday when officers conducted a “saturation patrol” around Santa Barbara High School, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.
The patrols occurred between 11:30 a.m. ad 3:30 p.m., and involved the department’s school resources officer, Gang Suppression Team, Tactical Patrol Force and Beat Coordinator Unit, said Sgt. Riley Harwood.
They targeted the streets around the high school, Harwood said, and the Milpas Street corridor.
“The focus of the saturation patrol was juvenile and gang-related activity during the open campus lunch hour and the school hours following,” Harwood said. “Approximately half of the officers were working in plain clothes on bicycles and the others were uniformed in marked police vehicles.”
Shortly before 2 p.m., Officers Michael Epstein and Thomas Van Eyck stopped two young men on the 1000 block of East Montecito Street whom they suspected of being truant.
They discovered that one of them — Miguel Angel Ramirez, 18, of Santa Barbara, who is not a student at the school — was in possession of a single-shot, .22-caliber pistol and ammunition, Harwood said.
Ramirez refused to state why he was carrying the weapon, Harwood said, and was arrested on suspicion of being a gang member in possession of a loaded firearm, a felony.
He was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $35,000.
The 17-year-old Santa Barbara High School student who was with him was not arrested.
A short time earlier, David Allen Bogard, 42, of Santa Barbara was stopped on the 600 block of East De La Guerra Street by Officers Michael Hollis and Bryan Kerr for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, Harwood said.
He was found to be in possession of a hypodermic syringe, used for injecting heroin, and several implements commonly used in the commission of burglaries, Harwood said.
Bogard was arrested for alleged possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of burglary tools, both misdemeanors, and taken to Police Department headquarters. He was released later with a misdemeanor citation for the aforementioned charges.
The operation also resulted in five gang contacts, two citations for possession of marijuana, two citations for truancy, a citation for possession of tobacco by a minor, and two citations for Municipal Code violations, Harwood said.