SANTA BARBARA A Santa Barbara man was arrested Wednesday evening in connection with a gang-related fatal stabbing that occurred last weekend.
Juan Carlos Mendez, 24, was arrested on suspicion of murder and working on behalf of a criminal street gang, Anthony Wagner, police spokesman, said in a news release.
Shortly after Mr. Mendez was taken into custody, the police department’s SWAT Team, Crisis Negotiation Team, K9 unit and Field Operations Division served search warrants at addresses related to Mr. Mendez in the 800 block of Cheltenham Road and the 3900 block of Via Diego, Mr. Wagner said.
In the early morning hours Jan. 18, police responded to the 1000 block of Olive Street and found 24-year-old William Pule-Valle unconscious after suffering multiple stab wounds. He was transported by ground ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, police said.
Both Mr. Pule-Valle and Mr. Mendez had histories of Eastside gang association, Mr. Wagner said.
When reached by phone Thursday, Mr. Wagner declined to comment further on the case.
“I don’t want to jeopardize a murder case,” he said. “We have a subject in custody for the alleged stabbing and the rest is being forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for review.”