SANTA BARBARA COUNTY — One of the more appealing aspects of uniformed police work is undoubtedly the fact that no two days are ever the same, that every call for service holds the potential for a genuine learning experience, and that one frequently has the opportunity to meet a wide variety of interesting people with a clear intent to end your life.
Those facets of the law enforcement experience were brought into sharp focus late in the afternoon of February 4th in the city of Santa Maria when uniformed Santa Maria Police Department patrol officers were dispatched pursuant to a 911 Emergency call reporting a man wielding a machete with deadly intent.
Responding officers found themselves at a Santa Maria residence where 34-year-old Gilberto Navarro was inside, refusing to exit the house or to speak with anyone on the outside.
It was at that point, according to the Santa Maria Police Department’s Watch Commander report, that the SMPD Crisis Negotiations Team was called to the scene.
Multiple attempts “to communicate with Navarro” were met with no positive response, whereupon the SMPD Special Weapons and Tactics Team entered the picture.
Apparently the sight of a fully-equipped and apparently serious SWAT detail was impressive enough to get Navarro to exit the home, at which point he was “arrested without incident.”
Investigation indicated that Navarro had indeed “attempted to strike multiple victims in the head and upper torso with a machete,” qualifying him for a ride to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on charges of attempted murder as well as possession of methamphetamine.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking