Wednesday, March 21 , 2018, 6:52 pm | Light Rain Fog/Mist 57º


Local News

Arrest Made in Severe Beating of Homeless Man

A 39-year-old transient has been arrested on suspicion of severely beating a homeless man in mid-February, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Michael Keith Dawson
Michael Keith Dawson

Sgt. Riley Harwood said Michael Keith Dawson, who was described as a local transient originally from Ventura, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and battery resulting in great bodily injury stemming from an incident that occurred on Feb. 13.

The 49-year-old man was found in Plaza del Mar Park, on Castillo and Cabrillo streets, by Santa Barbara City College security at 5:59 a.m. He was on the grass between the restrooms and tennis courts with severe injuries.

A major break occurred Wednesday when Officer Tom Eccles, investigating an unrelated misdemeanor battery involving homeless people in the 200 block of West Montecito Street, learned that a man named Mike had bragged that he had beaten a man to death in a park, Harwood said.

At 9:15 p.m. Officer Michael Epstein located Dawson in front of the 7-Eleven at 331 W. Montecito St., and detained him.

He was later booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail, with bail set at $50,000, Harwood said.

The victim, whose name was not released, remains at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with serious injuries, Harwood said, but is expected to survive.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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.

  • 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 >

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 through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

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 >