Man accused of battery on peace officer
SANTA BARBARA — A man was arrested Wednesday morning and is accused of trying to grab an officer’s firearm during the commission of an arrest, police said.
At approximately 6:45 a.m. Wednesday, police responded to Santa Barbara City College for a report of a subject who was repeatedly trespassing on campus. Campus security advised officers that the subject, later identified as 28-year-old Joshua James Segura, had a history of being aggressive toward SBCC staff members. Security previously had asked Mr. Segura to leave and he responded with verbal threats, said Anthony Wagner, spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Officers found Mr. Segua lying on the ground in front of a lecture hall and he immediately became hostile and disobeyed their verbal commands before fleeing on foot. Officers, in attempts to de-escalate the situation, allowed him to leave, Mr. Wagner said.
At approximately 8 a.m., officers returned to SBCC after Mr. Segura returned and refused to leave. As officers arrived, they found Mr. Segura across the street from campus near the harbor parking lot. An officer tried to detain him, but Mr. Segura fled on foot. The officer caught Mr. Sergua and pushed him to the ground and he “struggled violently” to avoid being arrested, Mr. Wagner said.
“During the fight he grabbed the Officer’s firearm and forcefully tried to pull it out of its holster,” Mr. Wagner said. “The Officer was able to overcome Segura’s resistance and prevented him from taking the firearm. Segura was arrested shortly thereafter.”
Mr. Segura was arrested on suspicion of battery on a peace officer, resisting arrest and other charges. He had been on probation for other prior convictions, Mr. Wagner said.
The officer involved in the arrest suffered a lower-body injury while fighting to protect his weapon. The officer required treatment by medical personnel and the injury was severe enough that the officer was not able to return to work pending further diagnosis and treatment.
— Mitchell White
SBPD releases update on felony activity
SANTA BARBARA — The Santa Barbara Police Department released a report Thursday on weekly activity from July 6 to 12.
The department received a total of 1,076 calls for service from the community, which resulted in 200 total written reports and 47 felony reports. The felony reports included attempted homicide, multiple assaults with a deadly weapon, stalking, burglary, ID theft, domestic battery, possession of child pornography and motor vehicle theft, said Capt. Marylinda Arroyo, police spokeswoman.
Of the 47 felony reports, 13 were cleared with arrests and four were referred to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. The other felony reports will be reviewed by the department’s Criminal Investigations Division.
— Mitchell White
Goleta responds to concerns on recent fires
GOLETA — The city of Goleta issued a statement earlier this week to address the “serious public safety concern” regarding two vegetation fires that have occurred in the past two weeks in homeless encampments along Highway 101.
The fire occurred in the corridor between Fairview Avenue and Los Carneros Road. Officials said they “do not take lightly the risk to life and property” posed by the fires, while also expressing gratitude for the first responders who helped douse the fires.
“While we are not alone in dealing with homeless encampment fires and homelessness in general, it is admittedly one of the most challenging problems we face as a city,” Kelly Hoover, city spokeswoman, said in a statement. “We are constantly balancing how to help this vulnerable population with the need to protect community members from the hazards associated with homeless encampments.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, unless housing is available the city is unable to clear encampments that would cause people to disperse throughout the city which would increase the potential for disease spread. The city has partnered with Santa Barbara County to support the homeless population in Goleta who are at greater risk if infected by COVID-19 by placing some of them in individual rooms and providing others with access to beds at PATH in Santa Barbara.
“Prior to COVID-19, the City has been active and successful with clearing debris from homeless encampments and has collaborated with allied agencies to conduct cleanup efforts along the Highway 101 Railway corridor,” said Mayor Paula Perotte. “In September of 2019, a four day clean-up resulted in the removal of more than 12 roll-off dumpsters full of debris.”
The city of Goleta does not own or control the involved property, which is owned by Union Pacific Railroad or Caltrans, depending on the location.
“However, because of the critical nature of this corridor, the City created the UPRR/Highway 101 Corridor Safety Task Force over a year ago to increase interagency communication and plan actionable steps to keep the area clean and safe. The group met last week and are coordinating a plan to thin out the weeds/shrubs/fuel along the Highway 101 corridor,” Ms. Hoover said.
The city continues to log every complaint regarding a homeless encampment and sends an outreach worker to the location. The city is also working with law enforcement to increase activities in identifying and visiting homeless camps with support services to prevent future fires, Ms. Hoover said.
The city is in the final stages of drafting a homeless strategic plan, which will be presented to the city’s Homeless Issues Standing Committee on July 22.
To report a homeless encampment, contact Shanna Dawson in the Neighborhood Services and Public Safety Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the city’s assist system at https://tinyurl.com/GoletaSubscriptions by going to Submit a Request and then clicking on Homeless Encampment/Illegal Camping.
— Mitchell White