Man arrested after lurking in elevator with knife in downtown Santa Barbara elevator

SANTA BARBRA, Calif. - Santa Barbara police arrested a 35-year-old man on May 10 after receiving reports of a suspicious person in the Granada parking garage elevator.

Kenneth Riley Jr., 35, is accused of lurking in an elevator with an illegally-sized knife and being evasive to police during questioning.

The incident happened at about 11:30 p.m. on May 10.

Authorities say Riley was confronted with the existence of the elevator video after being evasive during police questioning, at which point he changed his story that seemed suspicious to officers.

The suspicious incident behind the Granada Theater has some folks looking over their shoulder. 

"We think we live in paradise and people are friendly and smiling but not everybody is," said Vadim Kotlyar of Santa Barbara. 

The elevator video showed the suspect lurking and concealing himself in the corner of the elevator as he was peering out the open door.

Riley was eventually arrested for felony charges related to the knife.  His arrest has ignited a conversation about safety among Santa Barbara locals. 

"I grew up here, I don't worry about it but I can see women worrying about it and having to be worried about it," said Tony Figueroa.

One woman who asked not to be identified says she doesn't take any chances and holds her keys a very specific way when walking through parking structures, "like I'm going to stab someone with them," she said.

"It makes me think that I would be watching over my back next time," said Kotlyar.

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