Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies arrested a man Tuesday morning after he allegedly held a knife to a woman’s throat as she was getting into her vehicle at a parking lot at the Chumash Casino.
Michael Howard Burritt, 46, of Lompoc was arrested on charges of carjacking, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and armed robbery, according to Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.
Burritt had warrants for his arrest in several counties, Hoover said, and his wife, Diane Evelyn Burritt, 47, also had a warrant out for her arrest. She was inside the casino at the time of the arrest, and was located and arrested.
Around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, a woman getting into her car at the Chumash Casino parking structure reported that Michael Burritt jumped into her car, put a knife to her throat and ordered her to drive.
The woman managed to open the driver’s side door and yell for help, and Burritt allegedly became panicked, crawled over her and ran out the open door.
He fled out of the parking structure and into a nearby creek area, and responding sheriff's deputies surrounded the area and brought in a K-9 unit to search for him.
A deputy spotted the suspect attempting to get onto the upper reservation and chased after him, and after a brief foot pursuit, the suspect jumped into some bushes near Highway 246 just east of Via Juana,” Hoover said. “The K-9 unit located the suspect and removed him from the bushes.”
The couple were transported to the Santa Barbara County Jail, where Michael Burritt is being held without bail. Diane Burritt’s bail is set at $5,000, Hoover said.
The victim suffered a small laceration on her hand, and Burritt had multiple cuts and punctures on his hands and torso area.
No deputies were injured during the incident, but K-9 Gango received two puncture wounds on one of his rear legs, which Hoover said was most likely caused by a barbed wire fence located near the bushes where the suspect was located.