Police K9 vehicle struck in traffic collision
SANTA BARBARA — A passenger vehicle crashed into a Santa Barbara Police Department K9 unit at the intersection of De La Vina Street and Carrillo Street on Saturday evening.
According to an SBPD news release at 7:25 p.m., an officer and his K9 partner were responding to a call for a weapon brandishing in progress. The officer was driving westbound on Carrillo Street in a marked police SUV with lights and sirens on. The passenger vehicle was traveling southbound on De La Vina Street shortly before the crash.
The crash damaged the front of the passenger vehicle and caused the police SUV to spin crashing into a tree and then hitting the center median. Santa Barbara City Fire Department firefighters removed the officer from the vehicle and transported him to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. The officer’s K9 partner, Murdock, was removed from the vehicle by a former K9 officer and transported to CA Care Emergency Animal Hospital by officers.
The driver of the vehicle was the only occupant and was transported to Cottage hospital with minor injuries.
SBPD officers are investigating the cause of the crash
– Paul Gonzalez
Vehicle theft, burglary suspect arrested on warrants
SANTA BARBARA — Sheriff’s deputies arrested a vehicle theft and burglary suspect early Sunday.
According to a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, at 4 a.m. deputies responded to assist Santa Barbara Police Department officers on a stolen-vehicle recovery in the 400 block of Arroyo Road. A subject took a black 2015 GMC truck from the 100 block of Bath Street earlier Saturday evening. The vehicle’s OnStar system tracked the vehicle to an Arroyo Road address. Deputies had responded to the same address earlier that evening during a burglary investigation where a subject took items from a vacant home, including a garage-door remote.
Sheriff’s deputies, SBPD officers and California Highway Patrol officers set up a perimeter around the house and used a PA system to urge the suspect to surrender.
When the subject did not respond to their requests, deputies entered the house with a K9 unit. The K9, named Odin, found the suspect, 41-year-old Benny Velasquez of Santa Barbara, in the upstairs area of the house and apprehended him. Mr. Velasquez suffered minor injuries and received medical attention at the scene. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment, then booked into County Jail for two outstanding warrants: one for vehicle theft and a no bail warrant for a violation of probation.
– Paul Gonzalez
Fireworks start carport fire
GOLETA — Fireworks sparked a carport fire Saturday evening.
Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Daniel Bertucelli said fire crews responded to reports of a structure fire in the 6200 block of Westmoreland Place at 9:51 p.m.
When firefighters arrived, they found an attached carport engulfed in flames.
Firefighters attacked the fire aggressively and prevented it from spreading to the main residence.
Capt. Bertucelli said investigators determined the use of fireworks in the area caused the fire.
– Paul Gonzalez