SANTA BARBARA – Weldon Patterson Fewell, 52, a resident of San Diego, was driving through the Santa Barbara area on a city street on the evening of December 4th. While driving at night through unfamiliar streets anywhere can be a bit disorienting, consistent roadway markings throughout California generally help motorists conduct themselves within expected DMV norms. When Fewell’s vehicle was reported to be driving the wrong way in traffic on one of the area’s heavily-traveled multi-lane thoroughfares, then, he was decidedly beyond the law and subject to an enforcement protocol.
It was at approximately 8:00 p.m. in the evening when, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, “the California Highway Patrol issues a BOL (be on the lookout) for a wrong-way driver…driving northbound in the southbound lane of Patterson Avenue.” Hoover’s report indicated that the vehicle was identified at that time as a full-size red pickup truck.
Not long thereafter, an SBSD patrol unit and a CHP unit observed a vehicle matching that description and promptly commenced a traffic stop at a Patterson Avenue intersection. It was at that point, according to Hoover that “several shots were fired at the vehicle,” some of which struck the driver, Mr. Fewell, who was then transported by ambulance to Santa Barbara County Hospital for treatment of what Hoover described as “non-life threatening injuries.”
In responding to media inquiries about the circumstances surround this shooting—the third within Santa Barbara County this week—SBSD Lt. Butch Arnoldi announced that Fewell “attempted to flee and to ram a CHP car.” Pursuant to the shooting, the investigation remains ongoing. Fewell was charged for assault with a deadly weapon upon a peace officer.
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