Attempted Murder Charge for Drunken Pistol-whipping and Shooting
Santa Barbara County – If only we all followed our Kindergarten teachers’ admonitions to “use our words” instead of resorting to physical confrontation when disagreements become heated, fewer people would be getting medical treatment and fewer hotheads would be going to jail.
Alas, not everyone keeps those early lessons in mind, as evidenced by the altercation on the night of December 2nd in the City of Goleta when, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, a 29-year-old man flagged down a passing SBSD patrol unit, his face and head bloody from recent wounds. The victim “reported he was sleeping in his vehicle” when he was abruptly awakened by Roberto Rocha, a 39-year-old whom he is acquainted with and with whom he apparently had a serious personal beef. Words quickly escalated into a physical confrontation which only came to an end with Rocha summarily left the scene.
The victim, apparently thinking that was the end of it, did not move from the location — but five minutes later Rocha returned, this time to confront him with a firearm. According to Hoover’s report to the media, Rocha “shot at the victim and then pistol whipped the victim in the back of the head and face.” It was at that point that the victim finally decided to get out of the area. As he drove away, Rocha “allegedly fired several more shots” at the victim’s car.
As the victim was being treated by responding paramedics, SBSD deputies and a K-9 Unit began searching for Rocha. He was ultimately found nearby at his place of employment, “intoxicated but cooperative.” He was so cooperative, in fact, that he revealed to deputies his possession of a stolen 9mm pistol and ammunition, which then gave deputies plenty of reason to take him into custody and transport him to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on a charge of attempted murder.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking; Santa Barbara County Sheriff