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Saturday, December 15 , 2018, 11:09 pm | Fair 49º


Bill Macfadyen: Deputy Dog Sinks Teeth into Alleged Grocery Store Crime — in Pet Supplies Aisle

NoozWeek’s Top 5 sidetracks a Shoreline Drive remodel, makes arrests in an armed robbery spree, dines on German-Turkish street food, and shares good news about Drew Daly

This reality show is so much better than Big Brother! Click to view larger
This reality show is so much better than Big Brother! (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had more than enough of the atrocity and chaos of this past week. It’s been revolting, disgraceful, exasperating and exhausting. And I always look at my glass as half-full.

I have no interest in relitigating the civil rights era or having to defeat Nazis a second time, however weak and pitiable these contemporary posers are.

This is America; we should be better than this. The fact that we’re apparently not does not bode well for the future of E pluribus unum, with or without ISIS.

History has taught us these painful lessons before, and it is to our shame that we must learn them again. Too many Americans have fought and died for us to be so willfully ignorant of their sacrifice. I’m not sure we have time to go backward, whether to erase our past or to whitewash it. At my age, I don’t.

Locally, Noozhawk reported on far less drama and inconvenience than we have in a while — aside from our top story. That was reflected in our Google Analytics, which logged a mere 98,308 readers for the week. We’ll be back on track next week, I promise.

Here’s my take on your Top 5 stories:

1. Armed Teen Suspect Arrested After Standoff at Supermarket Near Goleta

Shoplifting booze from a grocery store must have seemed like a good idea at the time. But reality bites.

Actually, a Santa Barbara County sheriff’s K-9 did the biting but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Sheriff’s deputies were called out to the Vons supermarket, at 163 S. Turnpike Road near San Marcos High School, at about 7:15 p.m. Aug. 16 after a group of teenagers was reported trying to steal alcohol and other items.

If only perps could obey commands to sit and stay as well as Aco, a Santa Barbara County sheriff’s K-9. Click to view larger
If only perps could obey commands to sit and stay as well as Aco, a Santa Barbara County sheriff’s K-9. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk file photo)

The juvie team was spotted near an apartment complex behind the market, and one suspect — allegedly armed with a knife — took off, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

She said the chase went in and out of the store before the suspect finally was cornered inside about 15 minutes later.

“He was extremely agitated and threatening to fight,” Hoover said.

The teen refused orders to surrender, and reportedly threatened deputies and store employees.

The market was evacuated, and deputies then negotiated with the knife-wielding teen for about an hour. The reason for the patience was not explained.

Talks went nowhere with young Numbnuts so the situation finally was turned over to the deputized K-9, Aco, who quickly ended the standoff — appropriately, in the pet supplies aisle. Good dog.

This kid may not be the brightest of bulbs, but he at least learned — the hard way — that police dogs don’t fool around when they’re biting crime. Hoover said he was treated for a flesh wound, then booked into Juvenile Hall on suspicion of felony theft, vandalism and resisting arrest.

Aco was uninjured and, hopefully, got more than a pat on the head for his efficiency.

The suspect’s identity was not disclosed because he’s a minor. No other arrests have been made, although detectives are reviewing surveillance video, and Hoover said the investigation is continuing.

2. After Neighborhood Complaints, Santa Barbara Planners Halt Shoreline Drive Remodel

The neighbors have noticed now. Click to view larger
The neighbors have noticed now. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

A second-story job on Santa Barbara’s Mesa ran into a buzz saw of opposition at the Planning Commission on Aug. 10. The remodel project may not be going back to square one, but the commission voted 6-0 to send it to the Single-Family Design Board.

As outlined by architect Tom Ochsner for homeowner Chad Yonker at 1631 Shoreline Drive, the plan would add 422 square feet to the first floor of the 1,826-square-foot single-family residence along with a 1,356-square-foot second story. The result would be two master bedrooms and two family rooms.

Neighbors had the usual objections — size, scale, blocked views, etc. — but one complaint in particular seemed to resonate with the planning commissioners. Numerous nearby residents said they had received no notification that such a development project was in the works.

“I am kind of disturbed by the fact that we have neighbors saying they weren’t notified,” Commissioner Addison Thompson said.

The city is supposed to mail notices to neighbors within a 300-foot radius, but also can plant a yellow “notice of development” sign at the site instead. Some neighbors say they never saw a sign, although city staff had photographic proof from April.

Commissioner Michael Jordan pointed out that there was no sign of the sign when he visited the site over the weekend, even though story poles had been erected.

“That is unbelievable,” he said, adding that he had not been aware the city was not uniform with its notification process.

In addition to the noticing discrepancy, the commissioners objected to plans to leave two illegal, unpermitted retaining walls, two sets of stairs and a chain-link fence, all built by a previous owner.

The retaining walls are a bit of a problem. An engineer hired by the city determined that removing them could weaken the hillside, which could compromise the bluff.

Planning Commission chairman Jay Higgins said that if neighborhood concerns exist, the Single-Family Design Board should hear them first.

“All of our design review boards put a pretty heavy premium on neighborhood input,” he noted.

3. Duo Arrested For Committing String of Santa Barbara Robberies

Two suspects have been arrested in a string of armed robberies in Santa Barbara, including one earlier this month.

According to police, Carlos Rio Sosa, 42, and Ana Maria Espinosa, 39, both of Lancaster, were taken into custody near the corner of Bath and Islay streets early on Aug. 10. While they were at it, officers apparently found evidence of the duo’s alleged misdeeds, which stretch back to January.

Carlos Rio Sosa and Ana Maria Espinosa, two very fine people. Click to view larger
Carlos Rio Sosa and Ana Maria Espinosa, two very fine people. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photos)

I’m sure both are “very fine people,” but here are the goods SBPD had on Sosa when an arrest warrant was issued for him: six counts of robbery, seven counts of assault with a firearm, five counts of possession of personal information, conspiracy and dissuading a witness.

Here are the felony counts that were added after his arrest: possession of a firearm, possession of a loaded firearm, prior conviction of a felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.

But wait, there’s more: unlawful possession of a high-capacity magazine, possession of cocaine and child endangerment, all misdemeanors.

Police say he is being detained in Santa Barbara County Jail on $1 million bail, along with a state parole hold.

Espinosa was arrested on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy, both felonies, and misdemeanor child endangerment.

4. BizHawk: Entrepreneurs Bring German Street Food to Santa Barbara

Marcello Bisignani, left, and Marco Coccia have a new spin on Santa Barbara’s culinary scene. Click to view larger
Marcello Bisignani, left, and Marco Coccia have a new spin on Santa Barbara’s culinary scene. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Evidently, there’s a lot more interest in German-Turkish street food than I thought. Not that it had crossed my mind before I read Josh Molina’s Aug. 11 BizHawk column.

Urkeb recently opened at 413 State St. in Santa Barbara and, based on the story reads, it’s a popular place. The restaurant specializes in the apparently world-famous döner kebap, a dish of either chicken or lamb cooked on a vertical rotisserie and stuffed inside falafel-like bread or a tortilla. Or a bowl, if you’re counting carbs.

“We think the döner kebap is one of the nonexploited universal tastes like the pizza or the hamburger,” said Marco Coccia, who owns Urkeb with business partner Marcello Bisignani.

All main courses are $9, and they come with savory fillings and sauces like avocado ranch, hot habanero, parsley vinaigrette, smoked onion and yogurt house.

“This is something super new in Santa Barbara,” Bisignani told Josh.

5. Victim of Santa Barbara Hit-Run Continues Progress Toward Recovery

Drew Daly is flanked by his cheering section, from right, mom Teresa Howe, sister Leah, Santa Barbara Police Chief Lori Luhnow and Officer Ethan Ragsdale. Click to view larger
Drew Daly is flanked by his cheering section, from right, mom Teresa Howe, sister Leah, Santa Barbara Police Chief Lori Luhnow and Officer Ethan Ragsdale. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Drew Daly was left for dead after a hit-and-run driver ran over him as he crossed West Cabrillo Boulevard by Santa Barbara’s West Beach in the middle of the night last December.

In an amazing — and, frankly, unexpected — recovery, the 23-year-old former Santa Barbara City College student is on the mend, physically and mentally.

“I feel good,” he told our Brooke Holland on Aug. 10. “Nothing is a problem, besides my balance and anything using two hands.

“I’m thankful that so many people were helping me.”

Accompanied by his mom, Teresa Howe, and sister Leah, Daly was back in Santa Barbara to thank police and District Attorney’s Office personnel and other community members who came to his aid. More than 20 people gathered at SBPD headquarters for hugs, handshakes and story sharing.

“We didn’t think he was going to survive, and to see Drew here is awesome,” said Officer Ethan Ragsdale, the case’s lead investigator. “We all have bad days, and see some of the worst while working, but this is the best.

“It’s about helping people. It truly was a family job well done and a huge team effort.”

Daly was found lying in the street about 4:30 a.m. Dec. 2, roughly two hours after police say he was struck by an SUV near Toma Restaurant & Bar, 324 W. Cabrillo Blvd.

The driver fled the scene, and surveillance video from the nearby Santa Barbara Harbor later showed the man getting out of his Honda CRV to check on the damage ... to his vehicle, not his victim.

With the public’s help, Isaac Vincent Vega, 21, of Montecito, was tracked down and arrested five days after the collision. At the time, he actually was out on bail for a previous robbery arrest.

After being charged with felony hit-and-run causing injury, commission of a felony while released from custody, being an unlicensed driver, and providing false information to a peace officer, Vega pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run. He is serving a six-year prison sentence.

Suffering severe brain trauma and other life-threatening injuries, Daly was in a coma at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for several days after the wreck.

Originally from Rancho Palos Verdes, he expects to transfer in the spring to CSU Northridge, where he plans to major in environmental and occupational health.

                                                                 •        •        •

Last Year on Noozhawk

What was our most-read story this time last year? Santa Barbara Authorities Release Names of 3 People Killed in Mesa Crash.

                                                                 •        •        •

Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week

A partial solar eclipse is supposed to come into view in Santa Barbara County the morning of Aug. 21. Check out these photographs for inspiration on how to get your glimpse: 100 Years of Eclipse-Chasing Revealed in Quirky Pictures.

                                                                  •        •        •

Watch It

Betcha don’t have one of these mobile phones.

(designboom video)

                                                                  •        •        •

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— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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