Santa Barbara Man Arrested in Downtown Promenade
Source: Santa Barbara Police Department
On July 5, 2020 at about 8:30 PM Santa Barbara Police received a 911 call from employees of a business located in the 1200 block of State Street. The employees stated that they saw a male subject lighting objects on fire in the middle of the State Street temporary promenade as well as circling the block looking into vehicles parked along intersections. A pedestrian also flagged officers down and reported an unknown male subject following her in the downtown area. Officers located the subject, who fled on foot, and attempted to use a rock in a threatening manner at the Officer before being taken into custody.
Diego Hernandez-Mendez, age 34 from Santa Barbara was arrested and booked at Santa Barbara County Jail for 69 PC, threat of violence to deter arrest; 245 PC, assault with a deadly weapon; 11550 HS, under the influence of a controlled substance; and probation violations.
SUMMARY OF INCIDENT:
On July 5, 2020 at about 8:30 PM Santa Barbara Police received a 911 call from employees of a business located in the 1200 block of State Street. The employees stated that they saw a male subject lighting objects on fire in the middle of the State Street temporary promenade as well as circling the block looking into vehicles parked along intersections.
A Santa Barbara Police Officer was sent to the area and as they arrived a female pedestrian flagged the Officer down stating that a male subject was following her, and she believed she was able to flee out of his sight. The subject description matched that of the person reported to be lighting fires in the street. At that time the Officer was unable to locate the subject.
The Officer continued to actively patrol the area of the temporary downtown promenade when about 20 minutes later they located Mendez walking in the first east block of Carrillo Street. The Officer ordered Mendez to stop and he refused and fled towards State Street, running through the middle of the street and away from where the patrol car could travel. Several officers responded to the area as Mendez continued to attempt to evade detention.
In the first west block of Ortega Street Mendez suddenly stopped and turned towards one of the Officers. Mendez raised his right hand up and back while holding a large rock*. The Officer stepped to the side in an attempt to avoid being hit by the rock. Several Officers were then able to detain Mendez before he had an opportunity to use the rock. Mendez was evaluated, transported and booked at Santa Barbara County Jail.
*The rock is described as a large (about 7 inches by 4 inches) jagged crystalized amethyst with a pointed end.