Man arrested in robbery
SANTA BARBARA — A man was arrested Thursday afternoon in downtown Santa Barbara and is accused of stealing a gaming console from the GameStop store in Paseo Nuevo, police said.
The incident occurred around 1 p.m. Thursday. A man entered the store and got in a verbal altercation with the cashier. The two allegedly got into a tug of war over the gaming console and the suspect eventually pushed the cashier to the ground and fled the store with the console without paying, Lt. Joshua Morton, spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police Department, told the News-Press in an email.
The cashier followed the suspect out of the store to attempt to stop the suspect and was “subsequently physically assaulted by the suspect,” Lt. Morton said.
Officers responded and, with the help of witnesses, located the suspect fleeing the scene and he was taken into custody near the intersection of Canon Perdido and Chapala streets.
The stolen item was recovered in the suspect’s possession, Lt. Morton said.
The investigation was ongoing Thursday and the suspect’s name was not released.
— Mitchell White
Court rules in favor of SB Unified
SANTA BARBARA — The California Court of Appeal has ruled in favor of the Santa Barbara Unified School District in the lawsuit filed by former San Marcos High School principal Ed Behrens.
The district announced the ruling on Thursday, citing a 15-page opinion issued by a three-judge panel, which upheld the lower court judgement of the Santa Barbara Superior Court. Mr. Behrens sued the district after the Board of Education approved his re-assignment from principal to a teaching assignment in March 2018. The panel’s decision rejected all claims made in the appeal, according to officials.
“We are thankful that the court has ruled in favor of the district on all fronts in the Behren’s case,” Hilda Maldonado, superintendent of the Santa Barbara Unified School District, said in a statement. “We are naturally pleased that this matter has been brought to a successful conclusion.”
The lawsuit alleged that Mr. Behren’s reassignment was in violation of his constitutional rights and unlawful retaliation.
Craig Price, legal counsel for the district, said the ruling “reaffirms the right of a school district to reassign a principal without cause.”
— Mitchell White
Head-on collision results in fatality
SANTA BARBARA — One person was killed and another suffered major injuries in a head-on collision Thursday morning on State Route 154 near Lake Cachuma, authorities said.
The collision was reported around 3:50 a.m. just east of the lake. The preliminary investigation indicates the driver of the Toyota, a 39-year-old man from Ventura, was traveling west on the 154 and made an unsafe turning movement, crossed over the double yellow lines and traveled into the path of a Dodge. The vehicles collided head on and the driver of the Toyota was declared dead at the scene, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The driver of the Dodge, 34-year-old Ernest Gilbert, of Santa Barbara, suffered major injuries in the collision and was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, the CHP said.
It was unknown if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the collision, the cause of which remains under investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Rodgers at the Buellton-area CHP office at 805-688-5551.
— Mitchell White