Montecito – In the pre-dawn hours of July 7th, an exclusive beachfront enclave just steps from the gently rolling waves of the blue Pacific was sealed off and evacuated by law enforcement units responding to a local area resident threatening to detonate an explosive device.
According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, the problem began when David Tallman, 66, personally called 911 Emergency dispatch operators and reported that “he had several acetylene tanks, firearms, and ammunition” and specifically threatened to blow up his own house.
That call prompted an immediate response, with reverse-911 calls going out to area residences, 140 of whom were promptly evacuated to a nearby church while the entire neighborhood was sealed off to traffic. “For the next several hours, the Sheriff’s Department was negotiating” with Tallman.
Later in the morning, a fire broke out with “smoke and flames coming from the home,” Hoover reported, with Montecito Fire units standing nearby quickly dousing the flames. At that point, Tallman surrendered and was arrested. He was then transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for medical evaluation. Shortly thereafter, a search warrant was obtained and “a Sheriff’s Department robot was deployed to check the interior of the home.” Investigators discovered two small acetylene tanks and one oxygen tank, but found no weapons or ammunition in the residence.
Tallman was ultimately transported to Santa Barbara County Jail where he was booked on felony charges of making criminal threats and resisting arrest.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
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