Photo: Stock Image
Santa Barbara, Ca – March 25, 2023. – The persistence of the human species often depends on the genuine maternal instincts of mothers who may—without hesitation—find themselves compelled to put themselves in harm’s way in the interest of assuring the survival of their young.
That’s the normal way the mother-child thing is supposed to work. But in the case of 39- year-old Los Angeles resident Sandra Tapia, her instincts on the morning of March 23rd apparently veered far from those atavistic cultural expectations. According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Raquel Zick, it was late on the morning of the 23rd when SBSD Emergency Dispatch alerted deputies to a report from Santa Barbara County Social Services Department staff regarding “a parental kidnapping” that had just taken place.
Within minutes, deputies flooded the area with patrol units, whereupon they spotted the SUV driven by Tapia. An attempt was made to conduct a traffic stop, but “Tapia failed to yield and led deputies on a pursuit” that involved high-speed travel on U.S. 101 which lasted for several miles. Tapia then exited the busy freeway at a downtown Santa Barbara off ramp, her SUV whipping through congested commercial neighborhoods.
By then, SBSD had contacted the Santa Barbara Police Department, alerting them to the ongoing pursuit. Moments later, SBPD patrol units spotted Tapia carrying her one- year-old daughter as she hustled down the sidewalk of a city street. Cops quickly made contact with her, determined that she was “under the influence,” and took her into custody “without incident.”
Tapia was transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where she was booked on charges of kidnapping, child endangerment, evading arrest, and driving under the influence.