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Local News

Santa Barbara Assault Suspect Arrested After Temporarily Swimming Offshore to Avoid Capture

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Casey Lewis

A Santa Barbara man is facing felony charges after he allegedly beat a woman unconscious on lower State Street, then fled the scene to Stearns Wharf and jumped into the ocean, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Casey Michael Lewis, 35, was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon (use of hands and feet), felony battery resulting in great bodily injury and violating the terms of his parole, said Anthony Wagner, a police spokesman.

Lewis was on parole for a robbery conviction, Wagner said.

Santa Barbara Police Department officers on patrol responded to a report of a battery at the Santa Barbara Amtrak station in the 200 block of State Street at about 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Wagner said.

“Officers arrived at the scene and discovered a local unsheltered woman suffering facial lacerations and several broken bones,” Wagner said. “The victim did not want to cooperate with the investigation.”

Witnesses reported the victim was “kicked repeatedly,” causing her to lose consciousness, he said.

“Following the assault, some of these witnesses chased the alleged attacker, who fled to the (Stearns) Wharf and jumped into the ocean,” Wagner said. 

Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol and Santa Barbara police used two boats to locate and retrieve Lewis, according to Wagner.

Lewis swam around Fool’s Anchorage east of Stearns Wharf for about an hour before complying with instructions to board a boat, Wagner said.

Medical staff examined Lewis before he was booked into the County Jail, according to police. 

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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