Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, January 16 , 2019, 5:16 am | Mostly Cloudy 52º


Judge Denies Defense’s Motion to Dismiss Evidence Against DUI Suspect Tony Denunzio

Ruling finds Santa Barbara police had probable cause to conduct the traffic stop and make the arrest

A Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that Santa Barbara police had probable cause to conduct a traffic stop and arrest DUI suspect Tony Denunzio, and denied the defense attorney’s motion to dismiss evidence.

Tony Denunzio
Tony Denunzio

Denunzio, 50, of Santa Barbara, was pulled over and arrested Oct. 21, 2011, by police Officer Aaron Tudor in what some witnesses called use of excessive force during a traffic stop.

Denunzio’s attorney, Darryl Genis, filed the motion and argued that Tudor didn’t have reasonable suspicion to conduct a traffic stop or probable cause to arrest the man.

Tudor performed a traffic stop with Denunzio because he changed lanes without signaling and was missing a front license plate, police have said.

Judge Edward Bullard ruled to deny the motion Thursday and continue with the case, Deputy District Attorney Mai Trieu said.

Generally, a motion to suppress evidence, if granted, doesn’t leave enough evidence to proceed so cases are dismissed.

Denunzio is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 29 for a trial setting, and Trieu said Genis is expected to file an appeal to Bullard’s Thursday ruling.

Denunzio has pleaded not guilty to charges of driving under the influence, driving with a blood-alcohol level above .08, driving on a suspended license and allegations related to two prior convictions for alcohol-related driving offenses.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >