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Local News

Santa Barbara Man Jailed After Victim Beaten Unconscious

Ryan James Tefft
Ryan James Tefft

A Santa Barbara man was arrested on a felony battery charge after he allegedly beat a 26-year-old man unconscious outside a State Street bar, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Ryan James Tefft, age 22, was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail early Saturday on suspicion of battery resulting in bodily injury, said Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Tefft’s bail was set at $50,000.

Officers responded to a report of a battery at Haley Street and Fig Avenue shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday, and found the injured man, who was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Harwood said.

Witnesses described the suspect, and Tefft was found hiding behind a low wall in the 500 block of Chapala Street, Harwood said.

Investigators determined that Tefft and a friend had stepped outside a State Street bar to smoke marijuana, and saw the victim urinating behind a building on Chapala Street.

They warned the man he might get caught, and the victim then joined Tefft and his companion, Harwood said.

An altercation ensued, during which the victim pulled a silver necklace from around Tefft’s neck and broke it, Harwood said, adding that the jewelry had been a gift from his deceased father.

“Enraged, Tefft punched the victim on the face, causing him to fall to the ground,” Harwood said. “Tefft continued to repeatedly punch and kick the victim on the head, stopping after he noticed a large amount of blood pooling on the ground beneath it.”

The victim was later contacted at the hospital, but declined to make a statement about the incident, Harwood said.

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.

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