As the midnight hour approached on Friday night January 18th, Santa Barbara Police Department 911 Emergency operators received an anonymous tip reporting an unknown individual busily trying the doors of cars parked in downtown’s busiest multi-level parking structure known locally as City Lot #10.
When SBPD Officers Kyle Crooks, Dusty McGrew, and Aaron Tudor responded to the call from Dispatch, they stealthily split up and entered the structure from three separate points. The first to make contact with an individual acting suspiciously, Tudor—something of an infamous character himself and the subject of multiple abuse of force investigations in prior months—did not confront the suspect directly but maintained surveillance and observed David Phillip Nieman, 22, endeavoring to open the doors of multiple parked cars. According to SBPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, “the officers saw him gain entry into a red Ford Mustang with Utah license plates and remain inside the car for several seconds.”
Nieman then reportedly exited the Mustang and approached additional vehicles until he had that heart-stopping moment when he saw multiple uniformed officers approaching him. The officers verbally commanded him to remain in place where he stood, but “Nieman tried to flee, disobeying commands to stop,” Harwood reported. Nieman then threw aside the backpack he’d been carrying up to that time, sprinting through the parking structure and leading the trio of cops on a brief foot pursuit. But SBPD officers are nothing if not fleet of foot, and Nieman was quickly apprehended.
Further investigation revealed that Nieman’s backpack contained a set of jumper cables, a sunglass case, and assorted personal items that he admitted he’d taken from unidentified vehicles.
Nieman was taken into custody, removed from the parking lot, and subsequently found himself parked at Santa Barbara County Jail booked on multiple misdemeanor thefts. As a felony probationer, he remains in custody without bail.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
EdHat: Vehicle Tampering Arrest