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John C. Bright


Santa Maria Police Department

Santa Maria

Police identify, file charges against male suspect in standoff

The male suspect has been identified in the hourslong standoff Friday involving Santa Maria Police officers at a home in the 1300 block of Seaward Drive.

The suspects, a man and a woman, surrendered peacefully just after 1 p.m.

John C. Bright, 48, of Santa Maria, was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of resisting executive officers; possession of an assault weapon; and possession of a silencer, said Lt. Russell Mengel of the Santa Maria Police Department.

A criminal complaint against the female occupant will be forwarded to the Santa Barbara District Attorney's Office for review.

The incident was sparked when a neighbor called police at 9:32 a.m. to report a domestic disturbance in which multiple gunshots had been fired, Mengel said. 

While police and California Highway Patrol units sealed off streets, officers that included a crisis negotiating team arrived at the Seaward Drive home where they made contact with a man at the front door.

During that interaction, it became obvious the man was not going to comply with officers' requests to come outside, and officers fired a nonlethal round — a blue sponge — at the man, Mengel said.

However, the suspect still refused to cooperate and retreated into the home.

Officers could see the man and woman walking around inside the home, but the status of two children living there was unknown. 

Eventually, the children were accounted for elsewhere — at least one of them at a preschool.

Officers also tried to determine whether any firearms were registered to that address as negotiations continued over the phone, Mengel said.

At 1:05 p.m., the woman walked out of the house to the officers at the police rescue van in the street, where she was handcuffed, placed in a patrol unit and driven away.

Five minutes later, the man emerged with his hands in the air and walked to the van, where he was also handcuffed and driven away.

Santa Maria

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New Police Department tipline available to report serious crimes

Santa Maria residents now have a new phone number they can use to call the Police Department with information and tips about serious crimes.

As the Santa Maria Police Department's Special Enforcement Team and Detective Bureau frequently receive calls regarding a variety of crimes, gang-related activity, suspects and drug offenses, the new tipline was created in an effort to streamline communication between citizens and the department's detectives.

The phone number is intended for information about serious crimes that would be investigated by detectives. 

People now can dial the Santa Maria Police Department's main phone number 928-3781, and when they reach the automated menu, they can dial COPS (2677). The phone call will go directly to a voicemail, where members of the public can leave a message.

The messages can be anonymous or people can leave their names and phone numbers in the event they want to be contacted by an officer.

The phone number will not be monitored around the clock, so in the case of emergency, people still are advised to call 911.

-- Staff reports