Crime

Assault with a deadly weapon suspect on the run after escalated dispute at Santa Barbara home

Assault with a deadly weapon suspect on the run after escalated dispute at Santa Barbara home

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UPDATED 10:28 p.m.

A Santa Barbara man is on the run after police say a dispute got out of hand Thursday. 

It all started just before 3:00 p.m. with a heavy law enforcement presence on the city’s west side. 

Tense moments unfolded as officers staked out a home at the end of a culdesac. 

Santa Barbara Police are not releasing a name or suspect description at this time.

Squad cars lined a Santa Barbara street Thursday afternoon. 

“This is a really quiet neighborhood,” said neighbor, Judy Litschel.

Much to the dismay of people that call this stretch of West Micheltorena home.

“There have been problems next-door,” admits Litschel

With a warrant in hand, a canine team, a police negotiator and a stun gun were brought in - all to diffuse what police call a verbal altercation that escalated between a 56-year-old man living in a studio in the back of the 1200 block home and a contractor working on the property.

“They exchanged words. The 56-year-old suspect got into his vehicle and took action that resulted in assault with a deadly weapon and then made criminal threats as well,” said Anthony Wagner, Santa Barbara Police Department.

Both of which are felonies. 

Neighbors say while the home in question is under new ownership, they've had issues in the past.

“There’s a nice house, first floor, and second floor and the second floor is a rental unit and they had a lot of young kids in there and it’s not been proper family housing,” said Litschel.

Santa Barbara Police Officers spent hours trying to establish if the suspect was still in the home and took steps to lawfully enter and make an arrest but as it turns out, “he skedaddled down the hill on the lower portion of Micheltorena and we’re currently looking for him,” said Wager. 

Wagner says several felony arrest warrants have been issued and as of 10:00 p.m. Thursday, police were still trying to track the 56-year-old down. 


ORIGINAL STORY

Santa Barbara police are looking for a suspect who fled from police after barricading himself inside a home Thursday evening. 

Officers surrounded a home on the 1200 block of West Micheltorena Street with a heavy police presence seen at the top of the driveway of the home.

Police confirmed that they were responding to a call for service in the area and an individual was refusing to come out of the home.

Police say the incident began around 2:40 p.m. when the subject in question, a 56-year-old man, got into a verbal altercation with a contractor. That altercation escalated into the man making criminal threats towards the contractor and attempting to hit the contractor with his car. 

The man then fled to a nearby home where he barricaded himself and refused to turn himself over to police.

A negotiator was brought in case he was needed to try and convince the person to surrender to police. Police did stress that the incident was not a hostage situation. 

Law enforcement took extra precautions when dealing with the barricaded suspect, which is typical for those types of incidents. 

Officers obtained a search warrant and called in a K9 unit and a "breach team" to enter the building. Officers moved room-to-room throughout the building in search of the man, but discovered that he had fled through a back exit and escaped down the hillside.

Police say the man is still on the run and when captured he will face felony charges related to the incident.

Santa Barbara Police Department spokesman Anthony Wagner said there is no threat to the public at this time. 


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