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Local News

Man Accused of Domestic Assault Outside Wildcat Lounge

Witnesses report seeing the suspect kick and beat a woman with whom police say he has been in a long-term relationship

Santa Barbara police arrested a suspect downtown last week after he allegedly beat the woman he arrived with at a downtown nightclub.

Tomas Torrez
Tomas Torrez

Tomas Torrez, 32, of Santa Barbara, is facing charges of felony domestic battery and assault with a deadly weapon, after witnesses said he kicked a 24-year-old woman he lives with in the head and struck her in the face with his fist.

The victim suffered multiple lacerations, bruising, and swelling to her face as a result of the incident, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood. She was treated at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

An officer was waved down at 11:45 p.m. Thursday on the 700 block of Chapala Street by a member of the security staff of the Wildcat Lounge, 15 W. Ortega St.

The Wildcat Lounge employee reported that a battery had just occurred and that the female victim was on the ground bleeding on West Ortega Street. Four other officers responded to the scene, and the victim was found, bleeding profusely.

Harwood said witnesses in the area reported seeing Torrez kick the victim on her head with his right foot, causing her to fall backward into the planter. He then allegedly struck the victim once on her head with his right fist.

A passerby attempted to intervene and was challenged by Torrez, but the suspect fled when Wildcat Lounge security staff approached him. Torrez ran through Paseo Nuevo Mall and out onto the 700 block of State Street, where he got into a taxi cab. When the taxi was stopped by the pursuing Wildcat Lounge staff, Torrez exited the cab and continued to run into a city parking lot near the 600 block of Anacapa Street, where he was apprehended and arrested.

Torrez was being detained by three members of the Wildcat Lounge security staff who pursued him on foot to that location, Harwood said.

He said an investigation revealed that the couple had entered the nightclub earlier in the evening holding hands, and had exited the club 10 minutes before the incident. The pair were were walking westbound on Ortega Street when the the victim took a seat on the edge of a planter box at a neighboring car dealership.

The young woman did not provide a statement to the investigating officers, which Harwood said is not uncommon in cases of domestic violence and other serious crimes in which the suspect and victim know each other.

“Nevertheless, in the course of his investigation, Officer Cardana was able to establish that Torrez and the victim are cohabitants and have been involved in a long-term relationship,” he said.

Torrez was served with an emergency protective order.

He was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail with a bail amount of $30,000. Additionally, Torrez was booked on two outstanding felony warrants, one for domestic battery, false imprisonment, intimidation of a witness, violation of a court order, and vandalism with a bail amount of $20,000.

The other warrant was for violation of post-release (county-level) community supervision and possession of a dangerous drug, with no bail.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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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