HazMat incident reported at UCSB
ISLA VISTA — A reported fire in a chemical waste storage container triggered a Hazardous Materials Incident at UCSB’s Elings Hall, Building 226, on Monday morning, officials said.
An alarm sounded with sprinkler activation, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Approximately 70 people self-evacuated, and there were no injuries reported, Capt. Scott Safechuck, the department’s public information officer, said.
City and county fire HazMat teams responded to the 10:59 a.m. incident.
Firefighters then prepared for Level A (encapsulated suit) entry for chemical sampling/testing), he said.
The incident was determined to be stabilized and will be turned over to UCSB for cleanup, Capt. Safechuck tweeted on Monday afternoon. HazMat resources were released. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
— Neil Hartstein
Theft suspects apprehended
BUELLTON – Sheriff’s deputies, along with a Sheriff’s K-9 unit and California Highway Patrol have apprehended two suspected catalytic converter thieves, officials said.
On Sunday, at approximately 4:58 a.m., deputies responded to the 500 block of Sertoma Way in Buellton for a report of thefts of catalytic converters in progress, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
While they were on their way, sheriff’s dispatch relayed that the suspects were seen fleeing the area in a Fiat. Deputies spotted a vehicle matching that description near McDonald’s in Buellton.
When deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, the suspects fled and the driver entered the opposing lanes of traffic, driving southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 101, officials said.
In the interest of public safety, deputies discontinued their pursuit of the vehicle and shared the suspect and vehicle description with the CHP who located the vehicle further south on the 101, in the southbound lanes.
CHP attempted to stop the vehicle, and the driver again entered the opposing lanes and the pursuit was terminated.
CHP set up a spike strip on Highway 101 near Las Varas Canyon where they successfully disabled the vehicle that was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes.
After a short foot pursuit, the first suspect, 27-year-old Nathaniel Santiago Reyes of El Monte, was taken into custody at 5:28 a.m.
The second suspect, 32-year-old Bryan Arciniega of Los Angeles, was successfully tracked by a Sheriff’s K9 unit to his hiding place in a palm tree and apprehended at 6:30 a.m., officials said.
Deputies recovered two stolen catalytic converters from the suspects’ vehicle. Deputies have identified the vehicles that they were stolen from and are not looking for any additional victims associated with this incident, officials said.
Mr. Reyes was booked at the Main Jail in Santa Barbara on suspicion of vandalism (felony), attempt to commit grand theft (felony), possession of burglary tools (felony), possession of stolen property (felony), conspiracy (felony), obstructing a peace officer (misdemeanor) and possession of a controlled substance. He is being held on $75,000 bail.
Mr. Arciniega was booked at the Main Jail on suspicion of reckless evasion (felony), reckless driving (misdemeanor), vandalism (felony), attempt to commit grand theft (felony), possession of burglary tools (felony), possession of stolen property (felony), conspiracy (felony), and obstructing a peace officer (misdemeanor).
Mr. Arciniega is being held on $150,000 bail.
— Neil Hartstein
Police continue to investigate fight
SANTA BARBARA – Police are still actively investigating an altercation that took place early Saturday between two people that left one of them with a significant facial laceration, police said Monday.
The incident occurred at approximately 1:11 a.m. Saturday when Santa Barbara police officers were flagged down by an adult male assault victim in the area of State Street and Cabrillo Boulevard, Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale, the police department’s public information officer, told the News-Press.
The victim was suffering from a facial laceration that was significant, he said. He was transported by ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he was listed in critical but stable condition.
“Preliminary investigation indicates that this may have been a dispute between two individuals that may be unhoused, however that has yet to be confirmed,” Sgt. Ragsdale said. “As of the time of this report, there have not been any arrests made in connection with this incident.”
— Neil Hartstein
Seacliff ramps to close
VENTURA — Caltrans on Monday announced daytime closures of Seacliff off- and on-ramps on southbound U.S. Highway 101 south of Mussel Shoals for pavement work.
Signs will be posted.
Motorists can expect delays because of the work, which will take place 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, Monday through Friday.
Motorists traveling south can reach state beaches on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH/State Route 1) by continuing to the Main Street off-ramp in Ventura, U-turn to northbound U.S. Highway 101 and exit at the State Beaches off-ramp.
La Conchita residents traveling south can use the same route but continue north on U.S. Highway 101.
Residents and businesses located near the freeway may experience noise, vibrations and dust associated with construction activities.
Closures may start and end later.
Real-time traffic information can be found at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/.
All work is subject to change due to weather.
The work is part of a $48 million pavement rehabilitation project — including $5.5 million in funding from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 — on a 4.3-mile section of Highway 101 north of Ventura.
More details are available at https://tinyurl.com/mrycvtdm.
— Neil Hartstein