Assault with a Deadly Weapon
updated: Sep 23, 2013, 2:34 PM
Jose Juan Bernal, age 36, of Isla Vista was arrested for assault with a deadly
weapon, possession of a destructive device (fire bomb), and possession of a
destructive device near a public place or private home following an altercation
with his estranged wife's boyfriend. The victim, a 35-year old male from Santa
Barbara, suffered a puncture wound to the chest; he was treated by paramedics
and declined further medical attention.
On September 22, 2013 at 7:49 a.m., officers from the Santa Barbara Police
Department responded to a call of an assault with a deadly weapon that had just
occurred on the 700 block of W. Cota Street. Upon arrival officers located the
suspect, Bernal, at the intersection of Ortega Street and Wentworth Avenue as he
was walking toward the Ortega Street Footbridge.
Investigation revealed the following. At the time of the incident the victim
was en route to work and had just arrived at a residence on the 600 block of San
Pascual Street to pick up a co-worker. Bernal followed the victim to that
location and confronted him there. A fight ensued during which Bernal stabbed
the victim once on the chest with a piece of bamboo that had a 3-inch piece of
metal affixed to the end. The victim struck Bernal with his belt and belt
buckle to ward off the attack. Bernal then left in his car and drove to the 700
block of W. Cota Street where he contacted his estranged wife at her residence.
After briefly exchanging words with her Bernal left to find that his car had
been blocked in its parking space by the vehicle belonging to the victim whom he
had fought with moments before. The victim informed Bernal that he was calling
the police and that Bernal needed to remain to speak to the responding officers.
Bernal, however, left on foot and was stopped by officers shortly thereafter.
Bernal was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. Following his arrest his
vehicle was searched and officers found that it contained an illegal destructive
device, an improvised fire bomb made with batteries, wiring, a roll of toilet
paper, and a butane lighter. This type of device is designed to create a burst
of flame that can be used to set other objects on fire. Representatives from
the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad responded, examined the
device, and then dismantled it.
Bernal was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail for the aforementioned felonies
with a bail amount of $50,000.00.
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