A Santa Barbara police officer assigned to help protect Vice President Joe Biden during his visit last week to the South Coast helped apprehend six young people facing charges of vandalism and trespassing.
Officer Rick Cipres was on duty about 9 p.m. last Thursday, watching the Junipero Street footbridge that spans Highway 101 for any potential threats to the motorcade that would pass below.
While he was patrolling, Cipres smelled fresh paint and heard spray cans rattling in the distance. The officer saw six young people spray-painting a wall, illuminated by flashlights in the darkness.
After calling for reinforcement, Cipres and several officers approached the group of juveniles, who fled on foot.
Ssix juveniles — five boys and one girl, ages 15 to 17 — were detained. Santa Barbara police say that one of the juveniles is on probation for grand theft auto and another has a graffiti case pending in Teen Court.
The suspects were released to their parents at the police station, and the case has been forwarded to the Juvenile Probation Department for review and filing of charges of vandalism, trespass on railroad property and resisting or delaying an officer.