Police Arrest Armed Man at El Paseo Restaurant

Man Allegedly Had Handgun, Pot, and Bottle of Vodka

Just after 1 a.m. on Saturday, August 16, officers arrived at El Paseo Restaurant at 813 Anacapa St. after hearing reports from El Paseo security that an armed man was attempting to enter the restaurant. Security also told officers that the man had been seen in the restaurant with the gun. After a brief struggle, the man was handcuffed. A search revealed not only a loaded nine-millimeter semiautomatic handgun but also a small amount of marijuana and a bottle of vodka in the man’s boot.

The man, revealed to be 43-year-old Javier Esparza, was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and possessing less than an ounce of marijuana.

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

event calendar sponsored by:

Biggest Storm Since 1/9 Approaching Santa Barbara

The storm system brings increased threat of flash floods and debris flows.

Jack Johnson Tours Montecito Disaster Area Ahead of Benefit Concert

Jack and Kim Johnson met with Bucket Brigade leaders to see the destruction firsthand.

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.