Santa Barbara County – A 911 Emergency call made in the middle of the morning on July 21st reporting a man who was possibly armed brought Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department patrol deputies to an Orcutt residence, where they discovered 51-year-old local area resident Robert Foster sitting in his pickup truck parked outside his home.
According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, “Foster refused to come out of his truck” to engage with the deputies who had responded to the scene, and who ostensibly were concerned about the possible presence of a firearm as reported by the caller. As deputies implored Foster to step out of his vehicle, they made note of “an unidentifiable object” in his possession and, in the interests of public safety, issued an order for a reverse 911 call to go out to warn area residents of the potential danger with instructions to “shelter in place.”
As area CHP units responded to the area and shut down local street traffic, a SBSD sergeant on the scene gave Foster a call on his cell phone and engaged him in a conversation intended to diffuse things. Apparently unconvinced, Foster responded to the sergeant’s entreaties by verbally threatening to run the deputies over with his truck, emphasizing his point by gunning the vehicle engine and accelerating toward those in uniform. Foster may have begun to have had second thoughts when he observed a Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit overhead and SBSD Special Enforcement Team, Hostage Negotiation Teams, and a K-9 unit arriving on the scene.
Approximately ninety minutes later, Foster alighted from the truck and attempted to run into his house. It was at that time, in order to prevent Foster from accessing any weapons or creating a barricade situation, “deputies deployed a Taser,” and brought him into custody. Foster was injured in the process of his arrest, and was transported to Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria for treatment, where he was booked in absentia on charges of assault with a deadly weapon upon a peace officer, threatening a peace officer, and DUI.