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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 8:57 pm | Fair 53º


Suspect Arrested in Attacks on Two Women

The man tells Santa Barbara police it's a case of mistaken identity

Santa Barbara police have arrested a suspect in two attacks on women — an attempted purse snatch on Anacapa Street and an assault on West Mission Street.

Yemane Abraham
Yemane Abraham

In the first incident, a 33-year-old female victim told responding officers that she parked her vehicle at 7:40 p.m. Tuesday in the 1300 block of Anacapa Street, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood. As she was exiting, she noticed a man staring at her and approaching from across the street.

Harwood said the victim told officers that she started walking southbound toward her home on Anacapa, and when she turned around after hearing the man’s footsteps, the man forcefully pulled on her purse. The victim told police she struck the suspect with her elbow and screamed for help. The victim was struck on the head with a coffee cup, according to Harwood.

He said the suspect fled after failing to steal the purse.

Responding officers were then notified of a possible second victim. In that incident, a 23-year-woman said she was walking eastbound on West Mission Street shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday when a man quickly walked past her from behind, turned and spit in her face, according to Harwood.

The victim told police that she wiped her face and removed her shoe to use as a weapon to defend herself. The suspect then kicked her in the shin, causing her to fall to the ground in pain. She told police that she threw her shoe at the suspect but missed. The suspect then struck the victim with his elbow across her eye and the bridge of her nose, and walked away, according to Harwood.

An officer saw a man matching the description provided by the victims walking on Street Street about 8:40 p.m. and detained him, Harwood said.

He said both victims identified the man as their attacker. He was identified as 38-year-old Yemane Abraham.

The second victim then requested transport to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Harwood said Abraham denied involvement in the incidents, calling his arrest a case of mistaken identity.

He was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of robbery and battery. Bail was set at $50,000.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson 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.

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