Investigators released only limited information about a bizarre incident that occurred at a downtown home early Friday, but said they are charging the suspect involved with a host of felonies, including a hate crime, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Michael John Stinchfield, 55, of Santa Barbara was arrested Friday, and was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, attempted rape, sexual battery, false imprisonment, dissuading a victim and committing a hate crime, said Detective Michael Claytor.
Claytor told Noozhawk that officers were dispatched to the home in the 1700 block of Garden Street just before 5 a.m. Friday, to a report of a disturbance in progress.
Officers arrived to see two women running out of the home, one of whom was screaming, Claytor said.
“Both of the women had multiple visible injuries,” he said, and they told officers that Stinchfield had attacked them with a bat, held them against their will for several hours, and sexually assaulted them.
Stinchfield was taken into custody at the scene, and later booked at Santa Barbara County Jail.
Claytor said that the department has requested that Stinchfield be held without bail.
He would not elaborate on the hate-crime charge, other than to say the victims’ statements led them to believe the crimes were motivated, at least in part, by hate toward a protected class.
Claytor would not say what the relationship between the women and Stinchfield was, or how they came to be in his home Friday.
The incident remained under investigation, Claytor said.