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Santa Maria

Police arrest wanted felon after five-hour standoff

Santa Maria Police arrested a wanted felon after a five-hour standoff Friday night.

At about 5:50 p.m., an officer noticed a vehicle that was involved in a March 5 pursuit parked in the 900 block of West Fesler Street, according to Sgt. Andy Magallon.

That pursuit was terminated in the interest of public safety, he said, and the driver was identified as Earnest Lee Evans, 45, of Santa Maria.

While the officer was investigating the vehicle, he noticed Evans walk out of a residence, which was quickly surrounded by officers, Magallon said. Numerous attempts were made to communicate with Evans to surrender, but he reportedly did not comply. Two other occupants in the residence complied and exited the residence, Magallon said, and officers continued attempts to have Evans surrender, but he did not comply.

A search warrant was obtained, and Evans was located hiding in the attic.

He continued to be noncompliant and resisted arrest, Magallon said, but was taken into custody with the assistance of a police service dog.

Evans was arrested and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail for two outstanding felony warrants, felony resisting a peace officer and felony recklessly evading.


Suspect charged with attempted murder in alleged stabbing 

The suspect in an alleged stabbing Friday at a Vandenberg Village residence that sent a 71-year-old man to an area hospital has been identified and charged with attempted murder.

Jacob Salter, 31, taken into custody at the scene, was arrested and booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail, and is being held on $1 million bail, according to Kelly Hoover, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

At around 4:37 p.m., sheriff's deputies responded to a call about a stabbing inside a home in the 700 block of Mercury Avenue. The unidentified victim was located with multiple stab wounds and airlifted to the hospital.  

The suspect and the victim appear to both live at the residence, Hoover said, adding the motivation for the attack and the incident is under investigation by detectives with the sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division. 

Salter is scheduled to appear in court Monday for his arraignment.

Santa Maria

Police arrest suspect in vehicle pursuit through North County communities

A suspect who led Lompoc Police on a vehicle pursuit March 4 was arrested early Thursday morning at a home in the 3500 block of Dogwood Court in Santa Maria.

Jose Garcia, 40, of Santa Maria, was arrested after the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team served search and arrest warrants.

On probation for felony evading in a vehicle, Garcia was taken into custody without incident and booked into County Jail, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover. The suspect was on active post-release community supervision in the county, she added.

Garcia was identified as the driver who led Lompoc Police officers last Sunday night on a vehicle pursuit through the city of Lompoc and onto eastbound Highway 246, where it was terminated in the interest of public safety, Hoover said.

Suspect vehicle information was broadcast to the county Public Safety Dispatch Center and sheriff’s deputies assigned to the Santa Ynez Valley located the vehicle as it entered the city of Buellton, she said. Sheriff’s deputies initiated a pursuit of the vehicle, which continued through Solvang and into Santa Ynez.

Due to Garcia’s "reckless driving and disregard for the safety of other motorists," the pursuit also was terminated in the interest of public safety, Hoover said.

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Subsequent investigation by the Lompoc Police Department, sheriff’s narcotics detectives and members of the Compliance Response Team led to an arrest warrant for Garcia related to his involvement in the vehicle pursuit in Lompoc, she added.

Based on Garcia’s criminal history, which includes resisting a peace officer with force/violence, carrying a firearm and felony evading in a vehicle, the sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team was requested to serve the warrant, Hoover said.

The Compliance Response Team is funded by realignment money distributed through the Community Corrections Partnership, a committee of various county law enforcement and judicial representatives. The team consists of sheriff's deputies, probation officers and a Lompoc Police officer.

Santa Maria

Police nab 7 during DUI, driver's license checkpoint 

Seven drivers were arrested during Friday night's DUI and driver's license checkpoint conducted by the Santa Maria Police Department.

Officers screened 529 vehicles at a checkpoint in the 400 block of East Betteravia Road between 6 p.m. Friday and 3 a.m. Saturday.

One person was arrested for suspected DUI, and six were cited or arrested for operating a vehicle unlicensed or while suspended or revoked. Seven citations were also issued.

Another checkpoint will be conducted April 21.

High-visibility enforcement operations such as DUI checkpoints have reportedly shown to lower the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol- or drug-impaired crashes. The checkpoints are strategically placed in locations with a high frequency of collisions and DUI arrests.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspension and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

Drivers are encouraged to download the Designated Driver VIP, or DDVIP, free mobile app for Android or iPhone. The app helps find nearby bars and restaurants that feature free incentives for the designated sober driver — from free nonalcoholic drinks to free appetizers and more — social media tie-ins and a tab for the non-designated driver to call Uber, Lyft or Curb.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

-- Staff Reports