November 11, 2020 – Santa Barbara County, Ca.
The southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 101—the principal freeway artery running through Santa Barbara County—was shut down by CHP officers early in the evening of November 9th pursuant to a 911 Emergency call from a witness reporting “a heavy-set black male with his hair in a bun and wearing a dark-colored shirt” who was standing outside his vehicle pointing a gun at passing traffic.
According to CHP Officer Danny Maher, the officers first to arrive at the reported scene found 33-year-old Los Angeles resident Chappinette Lelani Martin standing “near a vehicle stopped on the side of the highway” who indicated that her car had “broken down.”
But when officers spotted “bullet casings on the ground around the vehicle,” doubt was immediately cast upon her explanation as to why she was standing on the highway.
As officers detained Martin, she indicated that she did indeed have a firearm in her car, whereupon the cops quickly retrieved a loaded pistol. As the highway was shut down, officers conducted a search of the immediate area. No “black male” or any other individual was located near the scene, at which point Martin was transported to Santa Barbara County Jail.
Martin was booked on four counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, three counts of shooting at a moving vehicle, possession of a firearm by a felon, and illegal possession of ammunition. She remains in custody on a no-bail hold.
Photo: Courtesy California Highway Patrol, Coastal Division