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Labor Day Weekend Proves Busy for Santa Barbara Police

Officers respond to several incidents, including an assault, a fight, a burglary and DUIs

From an assault to DUIs, Santa Barbara police stayed busy during the Labor Day weekend.

The following are accounts of some of the more serious incidents.

» At 12:10 a.m. Thursday, officers responded to an assault at Bath and Montecito streets. A 40-year-old male victim sustained facial trauma and was transported to Cottage Hospital. The injuries were classified as “significant” with a possible fractured jaw.

The suspect fled the scene in a black Audi. Officers determined that the victim and the suspect were in a verbal argument at the Neighborhood Bar, 317 W. Montecito St. The suspect and his party went outside, and as they were driving away, the suspect spotted the victim walking away. The Audi pulled over, the suspect got out and knocked the victim to the ground, police said.

Witnesses reported the suspect punching and stomping the victim’s face several times, and provided the description and license plate of the Audi.

Officer Tom Eccles found the vehicle at the registered owner’s address in the 900 block of Nopal Street. He questioned the suspect and his companions. A witness arrived and identified the suspect, who was arrested on charges of battery causing serious bodily injury.

» At 1 a.m. Friday, a 37-year-old man was stopped at 600 Salsipuedes St. for running a stop sign. He displayed symptoms of alcohol consumption and was arrested for DUI. He had four prior DUI convictions, and he was charged with the more serious charge of felony DUI.

» At 8:55 p.m. Monday, a 27-year-old man was involved in a traffic collision at Pedregosa and De la Vina streets that caused injury to another person. The man displayed symptoms of alcohol consumption and was arrested for felony DUI causing injury.

» Eleven other drivers were arrested for misdemeanor DUI.

» At 1:25 a.m. Saturday, Officer Jay Benson and a reserve officer noticed the front doors to Metro 4 Theater ajar. They looked inside and found a woman dart from the lobby up the stairway.

The officers called for her to stop and followed to search for her. The woman backtracked and slipped out the theater only to be caught by other officers. The investigation determined that Tracy McKee, 40, found the theater doors unlocked, entered and helped herself to refreshments in the concession area. She apparently set off an audible alarm. She was arrested on charges of burglary and resisting arrest.

» At 1:30 a.m. Saturday, a 52-year-old man was stopped in his Ford T-Bird at 700 Nopalitos St. for erratic driving and parking on the wrong side of the street. A passenger was holding an open can of beer, and a suspected crack-pipe was found on the floorboards. The driver displayed symptoms of alcohol consumption and was arrested for DUI and parole violation. 

» At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, police responded to a fight in progress at Milpas and Haley streets. A 38-year-old man was admitted to Cottage Hospital ICU with significant head trauma, including a laceration requiring six staples and sub-cranial hemorrhage. The suspect fled on foot.

Witnesses described the two men fist-fighting when the suspect knocked the victim unconscious. The suspect continued punching the victim until pulled off by a passer-by. The suspect, Patrick Curtis Cox, 42, was stopped by an officer walking several blocks away. He had bloody knuckles consistent with the fight.

The investigation determined that the victim and suspect are homeless and have fought before. Cox told police that the victim had broken his nose in a prior incident. Cox was arrested on charges of assault causing serious bodily injury.

— Paul McCaffrey is a lieutenant with the Santa Barbara Police Department.

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