Santa Barbara surfer slain In stabbing

SANTA BARBARA — A veteran area surfer and local member of the casual surf group known as the Rincon “Pit Crew” was slain in the early evening hours of April 14 at the county’s Arroyo Burro Beach, known to locals as Hendry’s Beach.

Hendry’s is the location of The Boathouse Restaurant, a popular venue with ample free public parking immediately adjacent, and a small grassy area toward the rear of the restaurant. It was in the small parcel of lawn that an argument between Robert Burke Simpson, 44, and his assailant broke out, and where Simpson was discovered with deep abdominal stab wounds immediately thereafter.

At an informal memorial held at Hendry’s Sunday, a friend of the victim known as Sippy Moreno remarked that Simpson’s killer was recognized as “an out of town gangster covered in tattoos.” Another acquaintance of the victim attending the impromptu memorial, Clay Lovejoy, remarked that Simpson would not have been the instigator in any violent situation and was indeed “one of the best boys down here.”

On the evening of the attack, which is reported to have occurred just before 6:30 p.m., approximately 200 people were in the vicinity of the beach, long a popular spot for evening strollers, dog-walkers, restaurant patrons and beach-goers. Immediately following the attack at 2981 Cliff Drive, multiple county sheriff’s and city police units arrived at the scene, quickly followed by emergency medical and paramedic teams. According to sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Drew Sugars, Simpson was quickly transported to nearby Cottage Hospital, where he expired.

Throughout the night, both police and sheriff’s forensic teams worked the scene, with particular emphasis on locating all possible witnesses to the actual event. No identification or apprehension of possible suspects is reported at this time. Authorities are hopeful that, with so many potential witnesses in the area at the time of the stabbing and with the ubiquity of cellphone cameras and video recording devices, evidence will be forthcoming. Until then, authorities urge anyone possessing any images or information to contact the local Anonymous Tip Line at (805) 681-4171.

Santa Barbara surfer slain In stabbing was last modified: July 12th, 2012 by admin
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