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Jealousy Leads to Violence, Arrest on Santa Barbara’s Westside

Melany Reyna Perez, 24, accused of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and domestic battery

A Cadillac Escalade was at the center of an altercation Monday night on Santa Barbara’s Westside that led to one arrest and two people treated at the hospital for stab wounds and lacerations.
A Cadillac Escalade was at the center of an altercation Monday night on Santa Barbara’s Westside that led to one arrest and two people treated at the hospital for stab wounds and lacerations. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

A fit of jealousy led to bloodshed and an arrest on the city’s Westside Monday night, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

The incident began at about 9:40 p.m. in the 700 block of West Sola Street, said police Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Officers were dispatched with lights and sirens to a report of 6-7 people fighting in the street, but things had quieted down by the time they arrived.

Moments later, a few blocks away, officers stopped a white Cadillac Escalade associated with the incident and ordered the occupants out at gunpoint.

However, it turned out the man and two women in the SUV were actually victims in the incident, Harwood said, and all had sustained minor injuries.

The suspect in the case, Melany Reyna Perez, 24, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and domestic battery.

The incident began when the trio in the Escalade returned home to the man’s residence after an evening out.

About the same time, Perez rode up on a bicycle.

Perez is an ex-girlfriend of the 26-year-old male victim, and “very, very jealous,” Harwood said.

She apparently had been staying at the ex-boyfriend’s family’s home, Harwood said, because she had nowhere else to go.

However, “she wasn’t supposed to be there at that time.”

The Escalade belongs to the father of the man’s new girlfriend, and Perez allegedly began damaging it with a knife or some other sharp object, Harwood said.

That led to a physical altercation between Perez and the new 22-year-old girlfriend, and others joined in the fray.

After the initial altercation, Perez rode away on her bike, followed by the Escalade with the new girlfriend behind the wheel, Harwood said.

Near the corner of Gillespie Street and Micheltorena Street, the Escalade stopped, and Perez allegedly began kicking the vehicle, Harwood said.

She also allegedly reached through the open passenger-side front window and accosted a 20-year-old female passenger.

(Names of the victims in the Escalade were not released because the case involved domestic violence.)

With the sound of approaching sirens, all the parties dispersed.

Perez was contacted in the emergency room at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where she was treated for hand lacerations and released.

The new girlfriend, who suffered a stab wound, also was treated and released at Cottage Hospital.

Perez was taken into custody and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail, with bail set at $30,000.

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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