WEATHER »

Homeless Cite Increase in Violence


At a time when Santa Barbara City Hall is under political pressure to tighten laws against panhandling, advocates for the homeless claim there’s an alarming increase in incidents of violence directed against homeless people. At least three homeless men claimed they were attacked by gang members. One victim required 29 stitches over his right eye; another had his cheek fractured and broke his hand in three places fighting back. One of the victims claimed that his assailants shouted gang slogans from their car before launching the attack. Police spokesperson Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte said no detectives involved with crimes against persons or youth activities had heard of gang-on-homeless violence. Additionally, a homeless man in a wheelchair and missing his prosthetic leg, Allan McKibben, was found dead by the train station three weeks ago-bringing to 15 the total number of street people to die this year. Advocates believe the circumstances of McKibben’s death may have indicated foul play. McKibben’s face had scratches, his tongue had been severely bitten, and he had injuries to his collarbone and spine. Police say McKibben’s death is not regarded as suspicious. Officials with the coroner’s office indicated many of McKibben’s injuries had been sustained well before his demise. Advocates are also alarmed about a homeless man camping along the side of the freeway by Milpas Street who sustained burns over 60 percent of his body after his sleeping bag caught fire about two weeks ago. Though the fire could prove to be accidental, police are terming the circumstances of the fire suspicious. The victim was transported to a burn center in Sherman Oaks.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Catalytic Converter Thefts Rise in Santa Barbara County

Thievery matches increased price of precious metal rhodium.

City Amends Charter Concerning Council Vacancies

The proposed amendment concerning elections must be approved by Santa Barbara voters.

Garden and Haley Closed for Emergency Sewer Repair

Northbound Garden Street closed between Haley and Cota streets.

Former Supervisor Tom Urbanske Dies

He had stayed active in community nonprofits benefitting those in need.

Hollister Ranch Settles with State to Provide Limited Public Access

A beach at Cuarto Canyon will be accessible by sea, and educational programs will expand.