Friday, April 20 , 2018, 11:46 am | Fair 62º


Local News

Deputies Searching for Suspect in Child-Annoying, Trespassing Case

Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department is seeking public’s help in locating man who allegedly performed lewd acts and followed a mother and child into their house

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department deputies are still searching for the suspect in a child annoyance case after they responded Saturday to a report of a man following a mother and child into their home in the unincorporated area of Santa Barbara.

According to Sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover, a woman and her daughter observed a man touching his genitals as he followed them on a walk they were taking in the area of the 5100 block of San Lorenzo Drive.

After arriving home soon after, Hoover said, the mother and daughter found the man inside their house.

After brushing up against the juvenile victim and being confronted by another resident of the house, she said, the suspect fled the property and was last seen running south down San Felipe Drive.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 30s with a dark complexion, average build and multiple acne scars on his face. He was also described as wearing a grey T-shirt, shorts, neon yellow tennis shoes, a cross-shaped earring and a gold chain necklace.

"This incident was especially concerning in that the suspect was bold enough to actually enter the home," Hoover told Noozhawk.

She said that the Sheriff’s Department responded at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday, but the deputies from the Santa Barbara, Isla Vista and Coastal stations, with help from a K-9 team and the Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit, were unable to locate the suspect, who is wanted on charges of child annoyance, criminal trespassing and lewd acts in public.

Especially with school starting up again, Hoover said, it’s important that parents review potentially life-saving safety tips with their children, including walking or biking to school with a friend, becoming familiar with neighborhoods and school routes, identifying whom they can go to for help, and memorizing their family’s address and phone numbers.

"There are many children in our communities who walk to and from school, and something like what happened this past weekend really shakes parents, and makes them realize, 'I'm not sure if my child would know what to do,'" Hoover said.

"The incident that occurred over the weekend is something we obviously don't want to see, but it does, at the beginning of the school year, raise awareness about how important it is for parents to take time out to go over important safety tips with their child — especially if they have a child who is walking home from school."

Anyone with information or who recognizes the suspect’s description is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 805.683.2724 or leave an anonymous tip at either 805.681.4171 or on their website.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman 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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