Police Conduct High-Risk Vehicle Stop on Santa Barbara's Westside
On Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at approximately 4 P.M., the Santa Barbara Police Department responded to multiple calls reporting several collisions that resulted in hit-and-runs on the City’s Westside. Concurrently, the Department received a handful of calls reporting a possible DUI driver in the same vicinity.
A reporting party was able to provide a vehicle description with license plate. Public safety dispatchers notified responding officers that the vehicle, a Nissan Quest mini-van, was reported stolen.
Officers located the moving vehicle on Carrillo Street, west of the 101 freeway, and followed it to the 900 Block of San Pascual Street. The vehicle voluntarily yielded to the side of the road and Officers conducted a high-risk stolen vehicle traffic stop.
The driver, later identified as Santa Barbara resident Daisy Echevarria, age 20, complied with Officer’s commands and exited the vehicle without incident. The driver told Officers there was an additional passenger in the vehicle. Because of the vehicle’s dark tinted windows, Officers were not able to initially determine the validity of her claim. Officers attempted to establish verbal communication. However, after multiple attempts, no contact was established with anyone who may have been in the vehicle.
After a perimeter was established, Officers slowed any escalation and used time to their advantage. It was determined by on-scene supervisors -- for the safety of the surrounding community, the possible occupant, and the Officers involved -- that an armored rescue vehicle would be necessary to further de-escalate and safely observe the passenger compartment from a safe position. Supervisors also called for Santa Barbara City Fire and the local ambulance service to stage nearby in case of a medical emergency.
The armored rescue vehicle was placed strategically to provide Officers an unobstructed view of the interior of the vehicle. At that point, Officers saw a male subject laying across the mid-seat. It was determined that the subject, now identified as Santa Barbara resident Jesus Montero Aguilar Jr., age 18, was motionless and possibly in a varying state of consciousness. As the incident unfolded, Officers monitored a growing crowd of onlookers.
A team of Officers including an Officer with life-saving NARCAN medication, approached on foot with ballistic shields; all-the-while staying in radio communication with a supervisor inside the rescue vehicle. That supervisor provided real-time guidance on the subject’s physical state and navigated every measure of de-escalation.
As Officers approached from the passenger side, they were able to establish faint verbal communication on Aguilar’s part. Officers believed his lack of his initial response at the on-set was likely due to his diminished capacity. Officers then retrieved a wheel chair from the passenger compartment and escorted a compliant Aguilar out of the vehicle. Once the scene was deemed safe, medical personnel evaluated Aguilar’s disposition.
A loaded firearm was found in the seat where Aguilar had been laying. In responding to the occupied stolen vehicle, the Officers’ actions and de-escalation techniques resulted in a safe and successful outcome.
Echevarria was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. In addition to being charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, Aguilar was charged as a felon in possession of a loaded firearm and a felon in possession of ammunition. After being medically cleared, both were booked into Santa Barbara County Jail.
By an edhat reader
October 20, 2020
Does anyone have any information on the large emergency response to San Pascual Street late this afternoon?