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Local News

Alleged Standoff Accomplice Arrested

Suspected gunman got a ride to the site. Police also have charged him in an unrelated incident at KJEE.

The alleged gunman whose bizarre demonstration on the La Cumbre Road overpass snarled Santa Barbara traffic for hours Monday morning had an accomplice, police said Monday afternoon. (Click here for a related story.)

Santa Barbara police said Eddie Van Tassel, 28, of Santa Barbara, who was arrested after the four-hour standoff, was driven to the area by Aaron Jacob Levy, a 33-year-old Santa Barbara man.

“Levy accompanied Van Tassel to the overpass in order to accomplish the task,” said police Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte, a department spokesman.

Police also said the investigation revealed that Van Tassel was responsible for an unreported incident that occurred around 6 a.m. Friday, Halloween, at KJEE radio, 302-B W. Carrillo St.

Police said an employee there saw on the premises an individual dressed in brown military-style fatigues, wearing a ski mask and in possession of a handgun.

“It is unknown at this time how Van Tassel gained access to KJEE property,” Duarte said.

The two men were booked into Santa Barbara County Jail.

Van Tassel was arrested on suspicion of possession of a concealed firearm; possession of a dangerous weapon; conspiracy; resisting or delaying arrest; brandishing a firearm toward police officers; disturbing the peace; wearing a mask for the commission of a crime; and permitting another person to operate a vehicle without a valid license. He was also booked on charges of burglary, possession of a concealed firearm and brandishing a firearm for the Friday incident.

Levy was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit the brandishing of a firearm toward police officers; disturbing the peace; possession of a dangerous weapon; and driving with a suspended license.

Noozhawk staff writer Rob Kuznia can be reached at [email protected]

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