An Isla Vista man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of felony vandalism in what authorities have described as a “bizarre incident” at the 7-Eleven in the 7300 block of Calle Real in Goleta.
Just after 9 a.m. Wednesday, the sheriff’s office received a call of a man destroying property and merchandise at the convenience store. Employees told dispatch Ghazi Elayyan, 27, walked in the store and was making incoherent statements and proceeded to throw dozens of glass bottles onto the floor and damaging several display cases, said Lt. Erik Raney, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
No other customers were in the store at the time. Employees hid in a rear office as Mr. Elayyan continued to destroy merchandise and other property. Deputies from the Goleta Valley Patrol Bureau, I.V. Foot Patrol and sheriff’s Crisis Intervention Team responded and contacted Mr. Elayyan “as he stood in front of the store, still screaming and suffering from several cuts on his hands and feet,” Lt. Raney said.
He was taken into custody and was evaluated at the scene before being booked into Santa Barbara County Jail.
“Due to mental health concerns, deputies completed a mental health evaluation form which will trigger a mental health evaluation while in custody, ensuring any treatment needs are met,” Lt. Raney said.
The sheriff’s Crisis Intervention Team works under the sheriff’s Behavioral Science Unit to conduct mental wellness checks on those with mental health concerns when they are released from custody.
Mr. Elayyan remains in custody and is being held on $20,000 bail.