Death ruled as accidental
The death of Jonathan Paul Thomas, 45, which occurred on Jan. 12 while he was in custody at the Santa Barbara County Main Jail in Santa Barbara, has been ruled as accidental, according to a report released Friday by the District Attorney’s Office.
Autopsy results revealed the death was caused by a combined effects of morbid obesity, dilated cardiomyopathy, acute methamphetamine intoxication, active resistance and restraint, according to the report.
“After review of the investigation, the District Attorney’s Office concludes the physical force used by custody deputies to restrain him prior to Thomas’ accidental death was reasonable and lawful, and they bear no state criminal liability,” according to the report.
The legal analysis was based on an investigative, autopsy and coroner’s reports; video and audio recordings; photos; and witness interviews collected during the investigation conducted by the Sheriff’s Office and submitted to the District Attorney’s Office by Detective Adam Alegria.
District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced Friday that the legal analysis was concluded.
Mr. Thomas had been arrested on the night of Jan. 11 on domestic violence-related charges.
To see the full report, go to JonathanPaulThomasICDfinal.pdf (countyofsb.org).
— Dave Mason
Street sweeper fire at UCSB
An operator exited safely after realizing his street sweeper caught on fire Thursday near Henley Hall at UCSB.
The operator called 9-1-1, and the Santa Barbara County Fire Department responded with three engines.
Smoke was reported from as far away as the Santa Barbara Airport tower. The fire was knocked down and is under investigation, Capt. Scott Safechuck, the department’s public information officer, said.
No injuries were reported. Call time was 7:28 a.m.
— Katherine Zehnder
Santa Maria hosts fire prevention fair
SANTA MARIA — The Santa Maria Fire Department will host a Fire Prevention Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Preisker Park in the Ruiz picnic area.
Safety information, training and activities will be offered along with prizes while supplies last.
The Kiwanis Club will provide free hotdog lunches to the first 100 attendees.
Fire Prevention Week is held in the U.S. during the week of Oct. 9 to:
— Recognize the tragedies of 1871: the Great Chicago Fire and the Peshtigo Fires in Wisconsin.
—Promote fire safety.
— Prevent loss of life and property.
For more information, call the Fire Prevention Office at 805-925-0951, ext. 8533.
— Katherine Zehnder