Santa Barbara – Just after midnight on October 20th, according to Santa Barbara Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, a 26-year-old patron of Santa Barbara Brewing Company who may have had more than his fair share of alcoholic beverage for the evening was observed to be relieving himself against the wall in public view by Ryan Tefft, 22, and another male companion. Tefft called out to warn the urinator of the possibility of getting caught in the act by police, whereupon the 26-year-old approached Tefft and his friend to engage them in conversation.
After stumbling to the ground close to Tefft, who helped him to his feet, the 26-year-old grabbed at Tefft’s chest and “managed to grab Tefft’s silver necklace, given to him by his deceased father, and break it,” Harwood reported to the media. At that point, apparently angered by what was interpreted as disrespect for his late father, Tefft allegedly punched the other man in the face, knocking him to the ground, and continues punching him until he noticed a large pool of blood on the ground beneath his victim’s head.
At approximately the same time, as indicated in Harwood’s documented report, a 911 Emergency call reporting a fight in progress went out to local patrol units, whereupon SBPD Officer John Thompson and Officer Kody Cardana reported to the scene in the vicinity of the downtown nightclub area. At that time, area witnesses reported the suspect as wearing a “Metal Mulisha” t-shirt and indicated the direction in which he had fled.
“Within one minute,” according to Harwood, Thompson made contact with Tefft who was hiding behind a nearby parking lot wall. While Tefft admitted to having been involved in an altercation over his broken necklace, Officer Cardena made contact with two independent witnesses who confirmed that Tefft had pummeled his victim and kicked him in the head once he was on the ground.
While his victim was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for further evaluation, Tefft was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of assault with intent to commit grave bodily injury, with his bail set at $50,000.
Photographs: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
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