Officers responded to a fight and brandishing call at about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 30, to find a victim with major injuries in Santa Barbara City Parking Lot 10, which is downtown between Ortega and Cota streets. Police said their investigation showed that the suspect, Jaime Zavala, a 27-year-old Las Vegas resident, had fought with the victim in the parking lot earlier that night. Afterward, the victim had gone to State Street and told his friends what had happened; the group decided to return to the scene of the fight.
The victim reportedly approached Zavala and punched him on the back of the head first. Zavala responded, knocking the victim to the ground, then punching and kicking him continuously until he was unconscious. Onlookers attempted to stop the fight, but Zavala’s friend, Luis Bravo, age 23, allegedly brandished a knife and told those watching to let them fight “one on one.” Witnesses became frightened and began to leave in their cars, which Zavala allegedly kicked and struck also, breaking windshields and mirrors. Police saw Zavala and Bravo driving near the lot, and arrested them on the 500 block of Anacapa Street. Zavala was booked for battery causing serious injuries, assault with a deadly weapon-namely his feet and fists, used with potentially lethal force-and vandalism. Bravo was cited for brandishing and released. The 26-year-old victim (whose name police did not release, citing consideration for his family and the seriousness of his condition) was admitted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with head and face injuries.