Santa Barbara – Santa Barbara’s East Beach—home to the city’s Junior Lifeguard program and numerous high-profile internationally competitive volleyball tournaments that have attracted worldwide media attention via exposure on ESPN and CBS-TV in the past—was the scene of a deadly knife attack in the 7:00 p.m. dusk of October 1st.
The victim, a 23-year-old Goleta resident, was jogging with another male companion when they were approached by a 17-year-old known Eastside gang member and three other confederates. Words were exchanged, according to Santa Barbara Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, “including a verbal challenge of some kind.” The verbal altercation immediately escalated into a surprise attack by the 17-year-old who was wielding a knife with which he stabbed his victim in the chest.
Once the attack occurred, the four juvenile suspects quickly fled the scene, running up through palm tree-studded Chase Palm Park, one of Santa Barbara’s landmark scenic vistas. When officers arrived at the attack scene and were given a full description of the juveniles, an SBPD K-9 unit went off in pursuit and quickly picked up the suspects’ scent. “The dog followed their trail through a canal and under the railroad tracks” which parallel the beachfront, Harwood reported to the media. Shortly thereafter the K-9 unit tracked directly to the primary suspect in a Lower Westside neighborhood, where he was taken into custody. They were transported to Santa Barbara County Jail and booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
According to media statements by SBPD Lt. Paul McCaffrey, “There’s no evidence (that) the man who was stabbed was a gang member or associated with gangs.” The victim was treated at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and is currently in stable condition.
Identities of the juveniles are being withheld pending further investigation.
Photo: Courtesy www.rentalo.com
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