Police Arrests, December 16

SBPD’s busy night: Pant’s Down, Tagger, and DUI Arrest

On December 16, Santa Barbara Police and Dispatch had their hands full handling a variety of criminal cases:

On 12/16 at 12:30 a.m., Santa Barbara Police officers Van Eyck, Katsapis, and Peterson responded to a residence in the 200 block of Santa Barbara Street on a prowler call. The caller, a woman in her 30s, heard suspicious noises coming from her 2nd story balcony: An object was knocked over and someone was trying the handle of her locked door. She called 911 for help.

John Eric Bergstrom, age 45
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John Eric Bergstrom, age 45

Responding officers quietly approached the residence and found John Eric Bergstrom, age 45, up on the woman’s balcony. His pants were completely down. He was arrested without incident. Bergstrom did not know the resident and gave no explanation that made any sense. He was arrested for prowling and parole violation.

On 12/16 at 3:25 a.m., police were checking locations in the lower Milpas Street area due to an increase in graffiti crime. An officer noticed someone using spray paint to graffiti a large wall of a business in the 700 block of Lawrence Avenue.

Thomas Ernesto Zepeda, age 18
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Thomas Ernesto Zepeda, age 18

The suspect, who was dressed all in black, stood on the roof of the business and was spray painting his tagging moniker on a second story wall. Additional officers arrived to surround the area. The suspect became aware of the officers’ presence, climbed down from his perch and ran to escape. He reached a fence that stood between him and freedom. Climbing over, the suspect’s route was quickly blocked by an officer who shouted the command: “police, don’t move!” The suspect only momentarily paused. He jumped down and ran another direction.

The officer used his Taser weapon to subdue the suspect with no further incident. The suspect was identified as: Thomas Ernesto Zepeda, age 18. In his pocket was a switchblade knife. He wore a backpack that contained 8 cans of spray paint, permanent markers, and ‘slap-stickers.’ Some graffiti taggers write their moniker on adhesive labels in advance and ‘slap’ them on objects in public without attracting attention. Detectives interviewed Zepeda and checked other cases involving his same moniker. Detectives believe Zepeda was responsible for much of the graffiti vandalism in the Milpas Street corridor. Zepeda was booked at County Jail for felony vandalism: damage exceeding $400; possession of the switchblade knife; and resisting arrest.

On 12/16 at 10:07 p.m., police and emergency medical personnel responded to a major injury traffic collision at 3000 De La Vina Street. A badly injured woman was lying in the street. Smashed cars were scattered about. The investigation determined that Soren Vajk Duborg, age 25, of Goleta was driving his 2001 Acura up De La Vina Street.

Soren Vajk Duborg, age 25
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Soren Vajk Duborg, age 25

Meanwhile, a 49-year-old Santa Barbara woman was standing at the open driver’s door of her parked 1998 Chevy Sedan. The Acura smashed into the rear and left side of the Chevy. The impact simultaneously knocked the Chevy completely up on the sidewalk, and knocked the woman flat on the pavement. The Acura continued forward, colliding with a parked 2009 Toyota. The woman, who was conscious at the scene, was admitted to Cottage Hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries. Officer Colato handled the collision investigation. Officer Beutel, who specializes in DUI enforcement, conducted a DUI investigation.

Duborg displayed obvious signs of impairment and was suspected of being under the influence of prescription medication. Duborg was arrested for a felony count of DUI: driving while impaired and causing injury.

View December 16 arrests in a larger map

Source: Santa Barbara Police Information Office

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