Santa Barbara – Alice Keck Park, regarded as one of Santa Barbara’s most spectacular garden spots and located within three block of the Police Department and the landmark County Courthouse where crimes committed within the city are adjudicated, features a lovely gazebo, enormous koi drifting lazily in the man-made pond, and a wide variety of exotic plant species.
All of this natural beauty apparently attracts a wide variety of “human species” as well, for in the late morning of November 21st, 911 Emergency Dispatch received an alarming call that soon had SBPD officers tip-toeing through the tulips in response to a report of an incident of indecent exposure within the park grounds. According to SBPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, when the uniformed patrol officers arrived they were confronted by a 55-year-old female who directed them to Israel Gomez Lopez, 31. While Harwood did not report the officers’ reactions to what they saw, one can imagine what it was as they witnesses Lopez with “his pants almost completely unzipped and not wearing underwear.” According to Harwood, “aside from his clothing, his only possessions were a box of condoms and a cell phone.”
Pursuant to interviews and witness statements, the officers at the scene came to believe that the victim was seated on a bench speaking into her cell phone when Lopez appeared and “stood uncomfortably close to her,” Harwood reported. When the victim looked at Lopez, she reported that he was smiling…and that his pants were open with his exposed penis enjoying the park’s fresh air. At that point, the victim reported screaming and calling 911 for help.
Apparently unimpressed by Lopez’s public display of his principal source of pride, the victim expressed a desire to enforce the law against such activities and conducted a citizen’s arrest. Lopez was then taken into custody and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of indecent exposure with his bail set at $2500. One can only surmise that his incarceration will provide him ample opportunity to display his weapon of choice.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
EdHat: Indecent exposure arrest
SBIndependent: Suspect arrested for Indecent exposure