Sheriff's Office Releases Timeline of Sexual Assault Incidents in Isla Vista
Update by edhat staff
March 3, 2022
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office has released a timeline of the recent sexual assaults in Isla Vista, provided an update on investigative steps, and more information from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB).
On Monday, February 28, the Sheriff’s Office and UCSB Police received several reports of sexual assaults and possible kidnappings in the Isla Vista area. An indecent exposure was reported at approximately 5:05 p.m. and was followed in quick succession by similar incidents on the west side of Isla Vista. At 7:05 p.m., near Camino Del Sur and Sueno Road, the suspect approached a victim, fondled her breast while covering her mouth, and then fled in a vehicle, reports the Sheriff's Office.
At 8:30 p.m. that same night, UCSB Police received a separate report of an additional nonconsensual fondling that occurred in the vicinity of West Campus Family Housing. During the time span from the beginning of the calls and throughout the night, deputies searched the area for the suspect who had been described as a college-aged male with dark hair, associated with a tan-colored 1990’s model Toyota Camry or possibly a 1990’s Honda.
County Air Support and a Sheriff’s K9 unit responded to assist with the search, but they were unsuccessful in locating the suspect. The Sheriff’s Office received several reports of possible suspect sightings throughout Isla Vista and responded to the area of each of the calls to check, but again they did not locate the suspect.
"On the morning of March 1, the Sheriff’s Office assigned these cases to detectives who have been following up on the case, while deputies in Isla Vista have continued to respond to each of the reported possible suspect sightings. Additionally, Sheriff’s Office personnel have fielded numerous calls from community members, concerned parents, and persons offering information to help identify the suspect. Online tips have been received and forwarded to detectives," the Sheriff's Office stated.
The Sheriff’s Office also announced a partnership with UCSB Police, UCSB Care, Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA), and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office Victim-Witness Program to offer a community safety and support event at the Isla Vista Community Center. This event offered a trauma-informed space for all affected, a forum to share updates and address questions of residents, and supportive individualized safety planning.
"In the days to come, while detectives continue their investigation, the Sheriff’s Office and UCSB Police will maintain increased patrols in Isla Vista and on campus. The Sheriff’s Office will share updates on this case, including any arrests made, as soon as that information becomes available," the Sheriff's Office stated.
UCSB will have additional Community Service Organization (CSO) staffing added to their escort service, and they will host the Annual Lighting and Safety Walk on Monday, March 7, 2022, starting at 5:30 p.m. on the west side of the UCSB Library near the Arbor. The UCSB Police Department is also planning to offer R.A.D. self-defense classes soon.
If you have information about the incident in Isla Vista that might assist in the investigation, please contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office at (805) 681-4100, or report crime information anonymously at www.sbsheriff.org/anonymoustips.html. If you have information that might assist in the investigation, please contact the UCSB Police Department at (805) 893-3446, or report crime information anonymously at www.police.ucsb.edu/report-crime.
Isla Vista Community Services District (IVCSD) Board President Spencer Brandt and Director Catherine Flaherty issued a joint statement regarding these recent events and community safety. They expressed a shared concern that community members have for safety when incidents of sexual violence are reported, especially considering the history of misogynistic hate crimes that occurred in Isla Vista on May 23, 2014.
“All Isla Vista residents deserve to feel safe in their own community,” Flaherty said. “We strongly encourage residents to report any related incidents to law enforcement.”
“To the numerous Isla Vistans that have contacted law enforcement with information about these frightening incidents, I want to say thank you. The information you are sharing is crucial to restoring safety to our community,” said Brandt.
IVCSD offered many resources all community members can access to stay safe and healthy during this difficult time.
Isla Vista Foot Patrol/Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office: If you are involved in an active safety situation, or have information that may be related to the above incidents, contact law enforcement immediately. For emergencies call 911. Non-emergency hotline: (805) 683-2724. Make an online report: https://www.sbsheriff.org/home/make-a-report/.
UCSB Community Service Officers (CSOs) and IVCSD Safety Stations: Personal walking safety escorts available to all Isla Vista residents. 24/7 hotline: (805) 893-2000.
UCSB Associated Students Safe Transportation Task Force: If you are a UCSB undergraduate student who has used a ride share (Uber, Lyft, taxis, etc) from March 1, 2022 onward, that started/ended on the UCSB campus between the hours of 6pm and sunrise, you can be reimbursed for up to $12 per ride. Apply for reimbursement at https://tinyurl.com/SafeTransportation.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): CAPS provides free counseling services to UCSB students. The UCSB After-Hours Phone Counseling number is (805) 893-4411. More information can be found at https://caps.sa.ucsb.edu.
Campus Advocacy, Resources & Education (CARE): Confidential advocacy and support services for survivors of interpersonal violence (sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking). CARE serves students, staff, faculty, alumni, community members, and friends/loved ones of survivors. 24/7 hotline: (805) 893-4613.
Standing Together To End Sexual Assault (STESA): Confidential counseling and support services for survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones, serving all residents of the community. 24/7 hotline: (805) 564-3696.
IVCSD/UC Police Department Interpersonal Violence Investigation Program: Works with survivors and witnesses to investigate sexual and dating/domestic violence, utilizing trauma-informed methods. (805) 893-3446 or online at https://www.police.ucsb.edu/report-crime.
UCSB Office of Title IX and Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance: Works to create and maintain an environment free of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violance. Learn more or file a report online at https://titleix.ucsb.edu.
The UCSB Police Department also offers the following safety tips:
- Perpetrators are responsible for sexual assault. Crime victims are never responsible for the behavior of perpetrators.
- If you start to feel concerns about a person or a situation, trust your instincts and try to remove yourself as quickly as possible from the potential threat.
- If you think someone is at risk of assault or abuse, you should consider it an emergency and act to support that person. You can call the police or ask for help from other people, intervene directly if safe, or create a distraction to help remove the potential victim from the situation.
- If you feel you are being followed, try to get the attention of people nearby, run/walk to a well-lit and/or more populated area, and call 911 to ask for help.
UCPD shares these Safety Tips while recognizing that perpetrators, and not their victims or survivors, are solely responsible for their actions.
The UCSB Police Department’s CSO Safety Escort Program is a free service provided to members of the UCSB community as a safe alternative to walking alone at night. Call (805) 893-2000 to request a CSO escort. For more information: https://www.police.ucsb.edu/cso/cso-safety-escorts.
Deputies Search for Suspect After Two Attempted Kidnappings at UCSB
By edhat staff
March 1, 2022
UC Santa Barbara students are on high alert after a suspect attempted two kidnappings on Monday evening. The suspect remains at large.
After 9:45 p.m., the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office issued an alert on Twitter stating an attempted kidnapping occurred in Isla Vista and UCSB Campus Housing near the Santa Catalina dorms at Storke Road and El Colegio. Residents in the area were asked to stay indoors as a K9 search was conducted.
Students were asked to not walk alone and to use the "Community Service Organization" escort service if they needed to walk somewhere.
The description the Sheriff's Office has so far is a college-aged white male, approximately 5'10", with dark hair and a thin build. He is possibly associated with a late 90s model gold Toyota Camry, or possibly a late 90s model, gray Honda Civic.
Deputies, K9 and Air Support exhausted their search of the area and shifted to an investigation.
Residents are encouraged to call the Foot Patrol Office at (805)681-4179 if you have info about the suspect or call 911 if you see him.
This is a developing story.