Santa Barbara police officers arrested 19-year-old Federico Almaguer Barreto this morning on charges related to assaulting and stalking his ex-girlfriend, said department spokesperson Lt. Paul McCaffrey.
The chain of incidents — which culminated in a confrontation last night during which Barreto allegedly crashed his truck into the victim’s car while she was inside it — began three weeks ago when the 22-year-old woman broke up with Barreto. Soon after, said McCaffrey, Barreto began leaving numerous messages on the victim’s and her family’s phones, going as far as parking outside her residence and school. On one occasion he purportedly followed the victim from her residence to Turnpike Avenue where he confronted her in a parking lot.
Last night just after midnight, said McCaffrey, Barreto followed his ex-girlfriend as she drove southbound on Highway 101. In an effort to lose him, the woman reportedly exited on Carillo Street, drove up Carillo Hill, turned left on Miramonte Drive, then veered onto Via Del Cielo. The suspect, spotting the victim’s car parked on the small side street, reportedly drove down it and blocked the way with his Ford F150 truck. He exited his car and began punching and kicking the victim’s door, said McCaffrey, kicking off the side mirror. The victim then backed into a driveway, but Barreto got back into his car, drove forward, and crashed into her Chevy Malibu.
The impact wrecked the front end of the Malibu and cause its airbags to deploy, reported McCaffrey. Barreto then fled the scene, and the woman was treated at Cottage Hospital for injuries sustained in the collision. Soon after, the suspect reportedly called the victim and told her to not cooperate with police. If she did, he said, he’d hurt her or her young child.
Officers were able to quickly track down Barreto who was arrested at 6:45 a.m. this morning without incident. He was booked into county jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon (his vehicle), criminal threats, felony hit-and-run, and driving while unlicensed.
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The Santa Barbara Police Department works closely with the Domestic Violence Emergency Response Team (DVERT), staffed 24 hours a day with certified domestic violence peer counselors. Anyone experiencing or aware of domestic violence is encouraged to contact DVERT at (805) 964-5245.