WEATHER »

Man Dies After Bizarre Incident at New Faulding Hotel

Police Responding to Disturbance Taze Joseph Lopez and Take Him to the Hospital


At 3:45 a.m. on August 12, authorities were notified that Joseph Novoa Lopez, 49, had died at Santa Barbara Psychiatric Health Facility after being forcibly removed from his residence at the New Faulding Hotel for causing a disturbance.

According to a press release from police spokesperson Sergeant Lorenzo Duarte, “An officer was flagged down by an employee of the Faulding Hotel reporting that an individual was destroying his room and throwing items out of the window into City Lot 11.”

The officer recognized Lopez — an on again, off again homeless man with a history of mental illness — from prior contacts, said Duarte.

Additional officers showed up to try and calm the 6-foot, 350-pound Lopez and place him on a 72-hour psychiatric hold, but he continued to resist when police moved to restrain him.

One officer reportedly shot Lopez with a Tazer multiple times in an attempt to subdue him, but to not avail. Police were eventually able to gain control of Lopez and place him in handcuffs.

According to employees who spoke with The Independent Monday afternoon, they witnessed a calmed down Lopez walk into the lobby where he was strapped to a gurney and transported to the hospital.

The county coroner’s office is conducting an autopsy today to determine the cause of death, but the results won’t be available for a few weeks.

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:

Increase in H2A Farmworkers Raises Housing Concerns

Santa Barbara County supervisors moving to streamline permit process.

Cannabis Taxes Generate $1.8 Million

Santa Barbara County releases first quarterly report.

City Closes In on New Police Station Location

Santa Barbara's Saturday Farmers Market may lose its 35-year site.

Homeless Could Get ‘Tiny Box’ Homes Downtown

Neighbors complain as City Hall fast-tracks grant application.

Ethnic Studies to Become Graduation Requirement

School board votes unanimously for 2023 start date.