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Friday, March 22 , 2019, 7:55 am | Fair 44º


Suspect Arrested in Old Town Goleta SWAT Confrontation

Neighbors are evacuated after an altercation leads to a standoff for a few hours at an unoccupied apartment.

Old Town Goleta's otherwise usual Saturday morning routine was disrupted by the jarring sight of heavily armed law-enforcement officers searching for a suspect.
Old Town Goleta’s otherwise usual Saturday morning routine was disrupted by the jarring sight of heavily armed law-enforcement officers searching for a suspect. (Tom Modugno photo)

Marcos Morales
Marcos Morales (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)
A Goleta man was in custody Saturday night after an early morning confrontation that led to the deployment of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department SWAT squad. There were no injuries in the incident but neighbors were evacuated as a precaution.

Department spokesman Drew Sugars said deputies were dispatched to an Old Town apartment complex in the 100 block of Nectarine Avenue after a 3:10 a.m. 9-1-1 call reporting that a neighbor had been involved in a verbal altercation with a man in the parking lot. The man had displayed a handgun in his waistband, the neighbor said.

While deputies established an exterior perimeter, nearby residents were evacuated. A full SWAT response was ordered at 5:30 a.m. after unsuccessful attempts to contact the suspect, Sugars said. The department’s Hostage Negotiations Team also was dispatched to the scene.

Officers continued to try to communicate with the subject via a telephone that was delivered to his apartment and through a public-address system. After hours of no response, SWAT team members forcibly entered the unit at 11:30 a.m. but found it unoccupied.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department SWAT team members talk strategy during Saturday's standoff.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team members talk strategy during Saturday’s standoff. (Tom Modugno photo)
The subject returned to the apartment complex on his bicycle about 1:15 p.m. and was arrested without incident. Marcos Obispo Morales, 30, was booked into county jail on a no-bail warrant for possession of a concealed weapon.

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