Santa Barbara police have arrested three known gang members who they believe were involved in a brutal attack early Tuesday that left a Santa Barbara man hospitalized in critical condition.
The 37-year-old victim, who police say has no criminal history and is not gang affiliated, was left unconscious and remains on life support at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Officers responded shortly before 1 a.m. Tuesday to 1300 Punta Gorda St. on a fight call and found the victim lying on the sidewalk.
As they went door to door in search of witnesses and evidence, they noticed a fire burning in the backyard of a residence located a few hundred feet from where the victim was found, according to department spokesman Paul McCaffrey.
He said officers contacted two brothers who live at the home and determined they had just been in a fight. There was charred clothing in the fire, and officers believe the men were attempting to destroy evidence linked to the assault.
The suspects were identified as 25-year-old Ismael Parra and 22-year-old Miguel Parra, 22. McCaffrey said both are known gang members who were recently released from federal prison for crimes uncovered during Operation Gator Roll.
Ismael Parra is facing charges of attempted murder, committing a crime to benefit a known street gang, assault on a police officer and battery. Miguel Parra is facing charges of attempted murder, committing a crime to benefit a known street gang, violation of probation and resisting arrest.
Detectives identified a third suspect, 23-year-old Steven Santana, who McCaffrey said is also a known gang member. He faces charges of attempted murder, committing a crime to benefit a known street gang, violation of probation and battery.
Investigators believe that the suspects, who had all been drinking, were in front of the Parra residence when the victim, who was walking from his workplace on Milpas Street to his home in the 400 block of South Salinas Street, was attacked by the suspects.
Police say the victim was knocked down and repeatedly punched, kicked and stomped. The suspects then left the victim unconscious.
Police Chief Cam Sanchez will hold a news conference about the case at 10 a.m. Thursday in front of the Santa Barbara Police Department, 215 E. Figueroa St.