Law and Disorder 1-8

A man fell to his death from Cold Spring Bridge on 1/5, the CHP reported. His name has not been released, but his apparent suicide marks the first death from the bridge in 2009 and the 48th since the structure was built in 1963. Caltrans is preparing plans to build a suicide-deterring barrier, but such a device has been opposed by some claiming such a device would not save lives. (/bridge18)


Police officers’ attempts to stop a man from illegally riding a bicycle on the sidewalk on 1/4 resulted in a brief chase around downtown Santa Barbara. According to police reports, the man-43-year-old parolee Robert Yartz-was ultimately corralled on the 800 block of Salsipuedes Street where officers tasered him into submission. Officers allegedly found cocaine as well as stolen credit cards and other items on his person before booking him into jail. (/taser18)


Orson Mozes, wanted for allegedly swindling would-be adoptive parents out of more than $1 million, was arrested by officers with the Miami-Dade Police Department in Florida, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office announced on December 31. Mozes is accused of running the Adoption International Program between 2005 and 2007 from his Montecito home and getting 62 prospective parents to pay sums of money-sometimes as much as $11,000-to “reserve” Eastern European orphans for adoption. (/mozes18)


James Michael Biela-the man accused of abducting 19-year-old Santa Barbara City College Student Brianna Denison from a home in Reno and then raping and murdering her-pled not guilty to charges at his arraignment in Nevada last week. Biela was arrested on 11/25, more than nine months after Reno authorities found Denison’s body in a field.


Actress Heather Locklear pled no contest to charges of reckless driving at a 1/2 court hearing and consequently avoided more serious charges of driving under the influence. Locklear, who did not appear at the hearing, will be placed on three years’ probation and must pay a $700 fine and attend a 12-hour drug education program. Following her 9/27 arrest in Montecito, investigators had determined that Locklear had been under the influence of prescription medication, not alcohol. (/locklear18)


Santa Barbara defense attorney Alan Karow, 48, was arrested by Sheriff’s Department detectives on 12/22 after he allegedly purchased heroin from Carpinteria drug dealer Dean Mull, 47, following a weeks-long investigation. Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Drew Sugars said Karow was suspected of coming to court while under the influence of drugs. Mull was also arrested, after a search of his residence allegedly turned up more heroin.


A lawsuit against Bruce Nelson-the man found guilty of committing lewd acts upon brain-damaged patients he cared for at the Solutions rehabilitation center-ended in a settlement last month. One of the victims, a 43-year-old woman, sought attorney’s fees and punitive damages from Nelson as well as from Solutions and its director, Susan Hannigan. Eric Woosley, the victim’s attorney, said the terms of the settlement are confidential. (/nelson18)


Six Vandenberg Air Force Base homes were evacuated from 5:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on 12/30 while officials investigated suspicious packages brought to the base’s main gate by a man who wouldn’t say what they contained. The man was taken into custody, but Vandenberg officials did not give the man’s name nor did they say what was in the suspicious packages or whether the man was arrested. (/vberg18)


Holiday DUI arrests increased by 5 percent over 2007’s numbers for the same period of time. In total, 223 people were arrested on DUI suspicion between 12/12 and 1/2. Two people died in two separate crashes this holiday season. While officers pulled over six people on New Year’s Eve for possible intoxicated driving, only three were arrested.


The Santa Barbara County Fire Department’s Water Rescue Team sprang into action on 12/25 after hearing reports of a capsized boat about a quarter-mile offshore of Goleta Beach-only to find that the boat was empty. The owner, a Lompoc man, did not know how the boat had drifted out to sea and reportedly worked with the authorities to take care of the situation. (/capsize18)


An explosion at a U-Haul rental facility at 4417 Hollister Ave. on 12/29 injured two U-Haul employees and caused $20,000 in damage. Investigators say the blast resulted from the employees improperly using an air compressor and accidentally drawing propane from a truck, igniting the fuel. The two victims were taken to Cottage Hospital with burns to their faces and arms. (/uhaul18)

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