Photo: Carlos Morales Diaz’s pistol
Santa Barbara County – The fact that one’s legal majority is attained on one’s 18th birthday, at which time an individual becomes by definition an “adult” may have been overlooked by 19-year-old Guadalupe resident Carlos Morales Diaz on the night he was hanging out with a 17-year-old pal.
According to Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, it was just after midnight on February 16th when Morales’ vehicle was reported as occupied by “suspicious persons” by East Rice Ranch Road residents. The Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center promptly sent uniformed deputies to the reported location which had been “the subject of burglaries recently.”
As deputies rolled up to the suspect vehicle, they immediately observed a juvenile occupant as he “attempted unsuccessfully to flee” the scene. Once detained, the juvenile was discovered to have a concealed loaded handgun on him.
The juvenile was also determined to have been drinking alcohol, whereupon he was medically cleared and then transported to Juvenile Hall in Santa Maria, where he was booked on charges of obstructing a peace officer and being a prohibited person carrying a loaded handgun in public.
Diaz, who was behind the wheel of the car when deputies arrived, was immediately detained and found to be in possession of a half-empty bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.
Given the totality of the evidence at the scene, Diaz was transported to Santa Barbara County Jail where he was booked on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, being under the age of 21 in possession of alcohol, and driving without a license. His bail was set at $2500.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department