SANTA BARBARA COUNTY — Proving once again that bad things can happen when inebriation clouds one’s mental faculties, events transpiring in the early morning hours of March 1st may qualify for the 2017 Darwin Award as failing to meet the most rudimentary standards of intelligent behavior.
The stupidity began at approximately 2:00 a.m. when a 911 Emergency call brought CHP officers to the scene of a serious motor vehicle accident on U.S. 101 in the city of Goleta.
According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, “officers found a car on its roof and the driver nearby,” the apparent result of a hit-and-run accident that sent the car down an embankment while the causative vehicle was nowhere to be seen.
Shortly after the CHP arrival on the scene, additional 911 calls came in reporting “a truck driving on its rims and having front-end damage” one mile distant.
As SBSD patrol units and additional CHP units arrived at that second location, they observed 34-year-old Santa Barbara resident Jared Ashton “who appeared to be intoxicated” attempting to distance himself from his pickup truck.
At that point, the SBSD deputy “attempted to direct Ashton onto the sidewalk and out of the roadway,” but Ashton became combative and refused to comply with the deputy’s orders.
As the deputy made efforts to detain Ashton, 25-year-old Micah Wroten summarily “struck the deputy in the face” from the side.
That cold-cocking led to a brawl “with both suspects throwing punches.” Moments later, another CHP officer arrived and with the fighting odds now evened out, both suspects were subdued and taken into custody.
Both Wroten and Ashton were transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where they were “treated for minor injuries” and undoubtedly welcomed by custody staff eager to show them the hospitality they had earned.
Both Ashton and Wroten were booked on charges of resisting arrest with force and violence, “as well as charges related to a DUI hit-and-run,” with their bail set at $500,000 each.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking