Emergency crews respond to a medical call during the unsanctioned Deltopia street party in Isla Vista. Credit: Grace Kitayama / Noozhawk photo

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office’s preliminary numbers reported 151 citations issued and 23 arrests made in Isla Vista this past weekend during the unsanctioned Deltopia street party.

For comparison, in 2022, there were 34 citations issued and four arrests.

“This is definitely a year where we saw a return to 2013 and 2014 numbers,” Lt. Garrett Te Slaa with the Isla Vista Foot Patrol said. “Deltopia is, unfortunately, back as an event.”

Te Slaa said that in addition to the arrests, 60 emergency medical calls were made on Saturday, “which is two times higher than we had and all of 2022 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday combined.”

Thirty-seven people were triaged at the medical tent that was setup by the county’s Emergency Medical Services, and 33 people ended up being transported to the hospital. 

Te Slaa said students from UCLA, UC Davis, USC and Cal Poly were among the students partying over the weekend.

“The locals were certainly more compliant than the out-of-towners, in general,” Te Slaa said.

There was also a DUI checkpoint at Los Carneros Road, exiting Isla Vista during the weekend. However, Te Slaa said the Sheriff’s Office was unable to check all cars for DUIs.

Nearly 1,600 cars came through that checkpoint, Te Slaa said. About 435 of them were screened for possible investigation, and two DUI arrests were made at the checkpoint.

“That’s about four times what you would expect to come through a checkpoint at that spot on a Saturday night, even given that time of year on any other kind of weekend,” Te Slaa said.

The Isla Vista Community Services District held a spring festival as an alternative to Deltopia, with free food, live performances, public restrooms, water refill stations and medical treatment stations.

According to Johnathan Abboud, general manager of the Isla Vista Community Services District, the only minor incident from the festival was that a portable restroom hand-washing station was stolen.

Though the resources provided by the district served as a respite for the large crowds that occurred over the weekend, Te Slaa said having resources such as restrooms and water refill stations only enabled large crowds.

“I do, just in complete honesty, wrestle with the idea that anything we do to provide services is inherently supporting and encouraging people to come to the event,” Te Slaa said.

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Grace Kitayama, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Grace Kitayama is a Noozhawk staff writer.