Photo: Stock Image
October 14, 2023 – Santa Barbara County, Ca. If there isn’t a sub-chapter in the Department of Motor Vehicle Driver’s Handbook about suggested driver behavior when dealing with uniformed law enforcement personnel during a traffic stop that specifically recommends against pulling a knife and threatening cops, it might be subject matter worthy of inclusion in the next edition.
The problem, of course, is that a driver like 22-year-old Santa Maria resident Christian Richard Ward would be an unlikely student of such reading material as evidenced by his contact with Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department deputies early in the afternoon of October 13th, which led to his arrest and incarceration.
According to SBSD Public Information Officer Raquel Zick, it was just after the noon hour when deputies responded to a 911 call for service reporting “a suspected DUI driver that nearly collided with the reporting party.” When deputies rolled up to the reported location, they found Ward’s car in the parking lot of a liquor store with him in the driver’s seat. Making contact with Ward, deputies spotted “an open container of alcohol” in his possession.
As Ward alighted from his car, he promptly “brandished a knife at deputies” and did his best to hightail it away on foot. With Ward’s athletic ability perhaps impaired by his inebriated state, he nonetheless managed to threaten the cops with his knife and hold them at bay…until he was introduced to the effects of a law enforcement “ballistics projectile and taser.”
Once hit by those non-lethal weapons, Ward was subdued and taken into custody. After he was treated for “superficial” injuries and medically cleared, Ward was transported to Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail, where he was booked on unspecified charges that undoubtedly include brandishing, resisting arrest, and driving under the influence. He remains in custody with his bail amount pending.