Violent Crime Takes Fiesta Siesta

No Stabbings, Murders to Mar This Year’s Festivities

Considering the considerable pre-Fiesta concern expressed about potential gang violence, this year’s Old Spanish Days bash proved exceptionally quiet. There were no gang brawls, no stabbings, and no deaths. Initially, police suspected that an altercation in which a man chucked a chair at another man’s head might have gang overtones, but investigators quickly determined it was just a case of “someone getting ticked off.” The police presence on State Street was intense, said police spokesperson Lt. Lorenzo Duarte, but that’s par for the course. “Every Fiesta, you’re always about to bump into a cop,” he said. Duarte said the police asked for and received the usual amount of cooperation from neighboring law enforcement agencies to keep the peace. Mayor Marty Blum added that the number of hours they worked might have been somewhat longer than usual this year. Aside from rounding up suspected gang members before Fiesta on probation violations, several groups in town took large groups of young at-risk teens on field trips and beach outings during Fiesta. Police also reported a modest increase in enforcement activity during the five days of Fiesta, with felony arrests jumping to 33 this year, up from 21 last year and misdemeanors going from 97 to 104.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Iron Chef Caused State Street Pedestrian Death

Famous Chef Larry Forgione charged with misdemeanor for driving into Gilbert Ramirez on February 24.

Lavagnino’s Sudden Victory

5th District supervisor a shoo-in as filing window closes; Gregg Hart also unopposed for 2nd District.

One Half of Old Town Streets to Get Sidewalks

Walkways planned for one side of Goleta neighborhood streets; parking, lighting talks at community meeting March 22.

After Disaster in Montecito, Where Is All the Money Going?

Santa Barbara nonprofits account for millions spent on relief efforts.

Santa Barbara Experiences a Rainy March, but a Dry Year

Water year only 34 percent of normal for precipitation.