Santa Barbara County – On the afternoon of April 27th, Santa Maria Police Department deputies found themselves faced with a situation requiring considerable restraint on their part.
It was in the middle of the afternoon when SMPD Emergency Dispatch received a 911 Emergency call reporting a male suspect attempting to break into an area residence. When officers arrived on the scene, they discovered Juan Angel Salina Pena “trying to break into the home of a family member,” according to SMPD Lt. Dan Cohen’s report to the media.
The young Pena, whose age was not disclosed, must have clearly been exhibiting irrational, emotionally-charged behavior, “armed himself with a knife and a large rock” when he spotted the cops pulling up to the scene of his burglary attempt. At that time, Pena allegedly acted aggressively and threateningly towards the uniformed cops and “repeatedly asked for the officers to shoot him,” Cohen reported.
But rather than just stand there and wait for the cops to do something, Pena summarily fled into a nearby backyard, during which time uniformed patrol quickly evacuated nearby residences. While Pena was holed-up in a neighboring backyard, police negotiators arrived and engaged him in a dialogue that went on in excess of two hours.
Apparently tiring of chatting with law enforcement personnel, Pena made a move to jump a fence—all while reportedly still in possession of the knife—at which time officers fired non-lethal “foam projectiles”, striking him. Pena, reacting to being pummeled by “foam projectiles” quickly dropped the knife and was summarily taken into custody.
Pena was transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where was booked on charges of brandishing a weapon at a peace officer, resisting arrest by use of force or threats, and trespassing.
Photo: courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking