Santa Barbara – The local State Street nightclub scene comes alive in Santa Barbara on most weekends, but sometimes it gets an early start when the workweek ends in a heat-wave Labor Day Holiday.
According to Santa Barbara Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, at least one patron at the Wildcat Lounge helped the club live up to its name on Thursday, August 30th, when nightclub security staff observed Tomas Torrez, 32, and his female companion enter the club holding hands. Sometime later, staff noticed the couple departing the premises in a darker mood and exchanging argumentative language.
Wildcat security personnel continued to observe the pair as the female took a seat upon a sidewalk planter several yards distant from the nightclub. The argument between Torrez and the female quickly escalated, whereupon witnesses reported, according to Harwood, that he “kicked the victim in the head with his right foot and then struck the victim on her head with his right fist.”
At that point, a passing pedestrian attempted to call Torrez off his attack and was himself challenged by Torrez. Moments later, Harwood reported to the media, Torrez “saw Wildcat Lounge security rushing to the scene” and he took off running through the vacant Paseo Nuevo Mall, fleeing out onto downtown’s State Street and promptly alighting into a curbside taxicab.
At that point, the Wildcat security team flagged down SBPD Patrol Officer Kody Cardana to report the violent battery; Cardana summoned additional patrol support and attended to the profusely-bleeding victim, while the club bouncers continued their pursuit of the taxicab for a distance down State Street, quickly bringing the cab to a halt.
Torrez jumped out of the cab then sprinted down the street on foot, running into a downtown parking structure—itself the scene of several violent gang incidents earlier this year—where he was cornered and subdued by the Wildcat crew. Moments later, SBPD Officer Craig Rullman arrived on the scene and took Torrez into custody.
Torrez was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of felony domestic battery and assault with a deadly weapon with force likely to produce great bodily injury; he as also booked on two outstanding warrants on charges of domestic battery, false imprisonment, intimidation of a witness, violation of a court order, and vandalism with a total bail set at $50,000.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking; Wildcat Lounge