Photo: Scott Robert Fleming
Santa Barbara County – The City of Carpinteria, promoted by its Chamber of Commerce as the home of “The Word’s Safest Beach,” might face challenges in describing its sidewalks in such glowing terms.
It was on a downtown sidewalk in the early morning hours of Saturday July 20th when two men exited a popular pool hall to discuss their differences in public. What followed led to a 911 Emergency call reporting an unconscious and unresponsive man lying on the concrete in front of the pool hall.
Responding Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department deputies found 32-year-old Carpinteria resident Eric Romero, who had been the apparent victim of a physical assault. According to SBSD Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, Romero “was transported to the hospital in critical condition as a result of the injuries” he had suffered.
An investigation into the circumstances of the incident led detectives to identify 29-year-old Carpinteria resident Scott Robert Fleming as “the alleged suspect in the assault.”
A warrant for Fleming’s arrest was issued on July 21st. The following day, detectives from the Criminal Investigations and Special Operations Bureaus, working together with officers of the Ventura Police Department, made contact with Fleming and took him into custody.
He was then transported to Santa Barbara County Jail and booked on charges of battery causing serious bodily injury and assault with great bodily injury, with his bail set at $100,000.
Just three days later, on July 23rd, Romero succumbed to his injuries and “taken off life support and pronounced dead at the hospital.”
With Romero’s death, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office is considering an additional charge of voluntary manslaughter against Fleming, who remains in custody.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail booking