Photo: Santa Barbara PD
Other than the occasional panhandler or the more-than-occasional run-in with the city’s ubiquitous and frequently over-zealous parking patrol meter maids, compared to life on the streets of many American cities, the sidewalks of Santa Barbara are remarkably tranquil…unless, of course, one is attacked by a maniac wielding a butcher knife.
According to Santa Barbara Police Department spokesman Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale, that exceptional circumstance allegedly occurred on the evening of June 13 th when 33-year-old Santa Barbara resident Vanessa Beatriz Alvarez “stabbed an adult male victim in the back with a large kitchen knife in a completely unprovoked attack,” following which she immediately fled the area on foot.
Suffering a wound from what would later be determined to be an 8-inch kitchen knife, the victim made his way to the city’s Westside Medical Clinic, “prompting clinic staff to call 911.”
Additional 911 calls from witnesses to the event “provided a detailed description” of Alvarez as well as her direction of travel following the assault. That information enabled patrol officers to locate Alvarez just a few blocks from the scene of the attack, at which time it was determined she didn’t even know her victim and had had no prior contact with him.
Alvarez was taken into custody and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where she was booked on charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and use of a deadly weapon likely to cause great bodily injury. She remains in jail with her bail set at $1,000,000.