A man attempted to rape a store employee at La Cumbre Plaza Mall and is facing multiple felony charges.
At about 6 p.m. Nov. 19, several Santa Barbara Police Officers and Santa Barbara Fire personnel responded to a report of an assault-in-progress at a store within La Cumbre Plaza Mall. The initial investigation concluded the following.
Marshal Anthony Coates, 50, behaved erratically outside the store. Mr. Coates then entered the business where the victim was the only employee at the time. That employee attempted to immediately retreat. Mr. Coates, at 6’3” and 250 pounds, advanced toward the victim. An unprovoked violent assault ensued. The victim was eventually able to exit the store and seek help from a nearby business. By-standers called 911. Mr. Coates was taken into custody without incident.
The victim and the attacked had no prior relationship. Through additional witness interview and background investigation, detectives concluded that the suspect entered the store not only to assault the victim but with the intent to commit a sexual assault. The investigation into the attack continues. SBPD has requested the subject be held without the opportunity for bail.
Mr. Coates face several felony charges, including assault with intent to commit rape, assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injury, second degree burglary, dissuading a victim with force or fear, criminal threats that terrorize, false imprisonment and kidnapping for ransom.