Law and Disorder 2-5

Five men were arrested in connection with the ritualistic sacrifice of a chicken on a farm three miles east of Santa Maria. Deputies responding to a report of trespassing on 1/27 found a beheaded chicken and evidence of a ceremony. The men-Manuel Juarez, 28; Felipe Tellez, 23; Felipe Castillo, 52; Marcelino Tranquilino, 21; and Herminio Juarez, 23-were arrested on charges of animal cruelty, trespassing, and possession of false identification. They are being held in jail pending a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement decision on whether to deport them as illegal immigrants.


While a real RoboCop has yet to roam our streets, law enforcement is one step closer with the introduction of AutoChalk, the Santa Barbara Police Department’s new $60,000 “electronic chalking system.” Using a GPS, laser, and photographic system, AutoChalk shows how long a car has been parked and also runs the license plate for offenses. The new technology is supposed to reduce “stress injuries” from old-fashioned tire-marking.


Designated drivers reigned supreme on Super Bowl Sunday near Vandenberg Air Force Base, where local authorities set up a checkpoint to deter drunk driving. Some 551 cars were screened but nary a DUI suspect was detected.


The man accused of masterminding the 2000 murder of 15-year-old Nick Markowitz appeared before Judge Brian Hill on 1/28, a day after turning 28 years old. The trial of Jesse James Hollywood, which was scheduled to begin in mid February, was pushed back to mid April at the request of the defense.


Phillip Matovich, who last year broke into a home, stripped naked, threatened to kill the residents, then briefly held a couple at knifepoint in a second apartment, was sentenced to eight years in state prison. Before Judge George Eskin on 2/3, Matovich pled no contest to four felonies, two of which are strikes under California’s three-strikes law, making him eligible for life in prison if he offends again.


UCSB police arrested Umberto Castellanos-Alvarez, whom they say brandished a knife on 1/24 following a dispute at the UCen building, where he was formerly employed. The 29-year-old was apprehended the following morning and charged with assault with a deadly weapon.


Montecito homeowner Francis Shannon Marsh was awakened by screeching tires shortly before midnight on 1/28, and ran out to find her hedge, fence, and mailbox destroyed by an apparent hit-and-run driver. Deputies have tentatively identified a red Ford F-150 as the suspect vehicle.


Talk-show host and Miss America emcee Gary Collins was arrested 1/31 in Summerland on suspicion of driving a motor home under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Collins was found not guilty of a DUI in 2002, and is on probation for DUI charges stemming from a 2007 collision resulting in the death of the other driver, who was at fault for not yielding during a left turn. (/duicollins)

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