SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara Police have arrested two teens in connection with a downtown stabbing Monday. Both face felony charges.
Sgt. Riley Harwood says the suspects, Javier Hernandez III of Oxnard and Juan Jose Vasquez of Goleta, both 18, were in the Paseo Nuevo mall and, after a verbal exchange with two others, a fight took place nearby on Carrillo and Chapala streets. Blood drops could be seen over a large area.
Several people were seen running from the area, but eyewitnesses helped police catch those believed to be responsible.
Hernandez and Vasquez were booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, according to police. Bail has been set at $30,000 each.
A downtown workers, said he generally feels safe but often feels at night he needs to be more cautious. "I think in the afternoon down here in the retail corridor it's pretty well monitored. I think in the evening you have to put your guard up," said Grant McKee.
When it comes to downtown safety, for resident John Harrison, "it is 90 percent of the time. I was shocked it (the stabbing) occurred here. I hope the police do something preventive but we need outreach programs."
A longtime employee in the area has witnessed crimes downtown before.
"Do I feel safe down here? I work down here," Jeannine Kassity a downtown worker. "A lot of incidents are during the day. I just try to go to work and leave."
Police say citizens were helpful in tracking down the suspects. Kassity feels it's necessary to keep the peace. "Your first reaction is, I definitely want to tell, the other one is kind of nervous about being out there and having them see you. But I think people want to step up because they want it off the streets," she said.