Walter Alexander Morales, Jr.
Santa Barbara County – As the midnight hour approaches in the Central Coast city of Lompoc, the streets are usually quiet and the sidewalks have been rolled up since the setting of the sun off the nearby coast of Point Conception.
But the late night tranquility of June 1st began to unravel some time after 11:00 p.m. when Lompoc police rolled up to a female who had dialed 911 Emergency to report that she and her boyfriend had been “violently assaulted” by a man with a gun.
According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, “the female was frantically looking for her boyfriend,” who was no longer on the scene and could not be located.
The female witness gave cops a description of the vehicle driven by the suspect, and moments later Lompoc Police patrol officers spotted the car in question and attempted a traffic stop, “but the driver fled.”
The ensuing vehicle chase took place at speeds well in excess of the posted limits, but ended when the driver “abandoned the vehicle on the western edge of the city” and took off on foot.
With the area promptly cordoned off by LPD officers and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies responding to the scene, Walter Alexander Morales Jr., a 22-year-old Lompoc resident, was soon found hiding in the back yard of a nearby residence.
Morales, wanted for probation violation, was arrested at the scene and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on charges of evading a police officer, and making criminal threats with gang enhancement.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking