Tuesday, November 13 , 2018, 11:30 pm | Fair 54º

 
 
 
 
Advice

Santa Barbara Police Say Report of Armed Man in Skofield Park Was Unfounded

Police send helicopter, armored vehicle to scene and arrest a man for public intoxication in the area, but search for weapon comes up empty

Santa Barbara police search the area of Las Canoas Road near Skofield Park after reports of gunshots fired. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara police search the area of Las Canoas Road near Skofield Park after reports of gunshots fired.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Reports of gunshots and an armed man in the Skofield Park area proved unfounded Tuesday after Santa Barbara police responded to the scene and found no weapon or evidence of gunshots in the area, Sgt. Riley Harwood said.

Multiple 9-1-1 callers reported hearing five or six gunshots in the area of Las Canoas Road and police arrived on scene around 1 p.m. and heard a person in the park yelling and screaming, Sgt. Mike McGrew said. 

McGrew said the man had a rifle, but Harwood said officers must have been mistaken at first glance, from farther away. Once law enforcement officers were in place with scopes and had a closer look, the man was found to have no gun in his possession, Harwood said. 

Police called in a county helicopter and the department's Bearcat armored vehicle, set up a perimeter around the park and took a suspect into custody just before 3 p.m. 

The man, 59-year-old Santa Barbara man Martin Perrell, was unarmed and "heavily intoxicated," Harwood said. He approached the Bearcat and was carrying a bag with empty and full alcoholic beverages, police said.

Santa Barbara Police Officer Keld Hove escorts Martin Perrell, who was arrested for public intoxication during the search for an armed man in Skofield Park Tuesday afternoon. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara Police Officer Keld Hove escorts Martin Perrell, who was arrested for public intoxication during the search for an armed man in Skofield Park Tuesday afternoon.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

One cartridge of .38 ammunition was found in the man's car, parked on the side of the road near St. Mary's Seminary, on the 1900 block of Las Canoas Road. No other ammunition was found in the area, Harwood said. 

Officers searched the scene for a weapon and finding none, determined there are no outstanding suspects and the reports were unfounded, Harwood said. 

"They wouldn't have cleared the scene if they weren't happy with the search," he said. 

Perrell was taken to the Santa Barbara County Jail and booked for public intoxication. He denied involvement in any shooting or noisemaking and was the only person in Skofield Park at the time, Harwood said. 

Staff writer Lara Cooper reported from the scene.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli 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.

Santa Barbara police search a suspect’s vehicle after responding to a report of gunshots and a man with a rifle near Skofield Park Tuesday afternoon. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara police search a suspect’s vehicle after responding to a report of gunshots and a man with a rifle near Skofield Park Tuesday afternoon.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

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