Thursday, April 26 , 2018, 11:29 pm | Fair 55º


Police Respond to Assault, Fraud and Loud Party

Those are among more serious incidents involving Santa Barbara officers over the weekend

An assault, fraud and a loud party were among the more serious incidents handled by the Santa Barbara Police Department over the weekend.

At 3:15 p.m. Friday, a 51-year-old woman living in the 2100 block of Mountain Avenue was in her backyard when her dogs started barking. She walked toward a shed and interrupted a man rifling the contents. The suspect lunged and grabbed at her. As the woman backed away, the suspect tore part of her dress and slapped her. He then grabbed her arm, but lost his balance and fell.

The woman picked up a hammer lying on the ground near the shed and struck the suspect in the head. He got up and ran away down the hill toward Portesuello Road. He was described as a 30-year-old white male with shoulder-length brown hair and a long beard and was wearing a green jacket. Police say the suspect may have a noticeable head injury.

Anyone with possible suspect information is urged to call the department at 805.897.2355.

At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, a man and a woman went into Mi Fiesta convenience store at 833 N. Milpas St. The woman asked to cash a check for $471 drawn on the account of Select Staffing and presented a Mexico ID card. The store owner accepted the check and gave her cash, but then remembered having received counterfeit Select Staffing checks in the past.

Holding on to her ID card, the store owner told the woman to wait while he called to verify the check, but the woman fled out the door followed closely by her male companion. The store owner gave chase, but could catch only the male. The male suspect told police he didn’t know the woman, but the officer found the male suspect also had a Select Staffing check, in the amount of $478. He also had a Mexico-issued ID card matching the name on the check. Police said both his and the woman’s ID cards were counterfeit.

In addition, handwritten on the woman’s check was a phone number that matched a phone number handwritten on the male suspect’s check. In light of the evidence, the male suspect admitted that the checks and ID cards were counterfeit. Although his identity has not been verified, he was booked into the county jail under the name Jose Luis Martinez, 55, on charges of forgery, possession of a counterfeit ID card, burglary and giving police a false name.

At 11:45 p.m. Saturday, police responded to citizen complaints of a large party in the 500 block of Flora Vista. Officers arrived and observed loud talking and yelling clearly heard several houses away in all directions. Neighbors and police reports reflected that officers have responded to loud noise and party complaints several times in the past two months.

Police estimated there were well more than 100 partygoers, most of whom in the backyard. Officers closed the party and issued disturbing-the-peace citations to seven men, ages 18 to 21 and all residents of the home.

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

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