Businessman Arrested on Assault, Attempted Rape, Hate Crime Charges

Michael Stinchfield Reportedly Held Two Women Against Their Will in Garden Street Home

Originally published 11:00 a.m., November 3, 2012
Updated 6:00 p.m., November 3, 2012
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A Santa Barbara businessman with a history of violence and intimidation was arrested early Friday morning after he reportedly held two women against their will in his Garden Street home, beating them with a baseball bat and sexually assaulting them for hours.

Mike Stinchfield
Click to enlarge photo

Mike Stinchfield

Police took Michael Stinchfield into custody at around 5 a.m. in his 1724 Garden Street home after officers witnessed the women with visible injuries screaming and fleeing and from the two-story residence. Just prior to that, multiple neighbors had called 911 reporting a disturbance.

Stinchfield, 55, is booked in County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats, attempted rape, sexual battery, false imprisonment, dissuading a victim from calling police, and a hate crime. He’s being held without bail.

Police have so far released few details surrounding the incident, citing the open investigation. They did note that officers have had multiple contacts with Stinchfield in recent weeks and months, but couldn’t elaborate on those encounters at this time.

The owner of multiple residential and commercial properties around town and an amateur musician, Stinchfield has been depressed and acting erratically since his wife died three years ago, neighbors said Saturday. Stinchfield is the father of two grown sons — one recently graduated high school and stays in another of his houses — and he has lived in the Garden Street home for approximately 12 years. One of his neighbors said he saw Stinchfield throwing large amounts of trash out of a broken second-story window last week.

Michael Stinchfield's home at 1724 Garden Street
Click to enlarge photo

Tyler Hayden

Michael Stinchfield’s home at 1724 Garden Street

Stinchfield made crime news headlines on September 28 when CHP officers arrested him at the end of a high-speed chase that began in Ventura County and ended in Los Angeles. According to the CHP, Stinchfield had picked up a homeless woman in Ventura but then refused to let her out of his Mercedes. The chase began when officers noticed him driving erratically, and the pursuit topped out at around 100 mph. Though Stinchfield was arrested in that incident on suspicion of felony evasion and false imprisonment, it’s not clear if or how that case has been resolved.

He’s been actively renovating a commercial property on lower State Street with plans to open a restaurant there called Santa Barbara Bar & Grill.

If you've been involved in a crime, email


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Pretty crazy as I have appraised this home and dealt with him on real estate transactions...

m2457 (anonymous profile)
November 3, 2012 at 12:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sounds like he may be bi-polar.....sad for everyone concerned

topcat (anonymous profile)
November 3, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mostly sad for the women he's possibly raped or intimidated and assaulted. Lots of people are bi-polar without being rapists. (If he even is bi-polar, who knows.)

Native1 (anonymous profile)
November 3, 2012 at 1:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Seriously topcat, sad for everyone? Typical SB attitude, the perpetrator is a rich White guy, so he gets away with terrorizing a woman while evading the police, and now he deserves sympathy after beating and terrorizing two women... Gotta wonder what your opinion would be if he was Mexican or Black

OriginalSBLocal (anonymous profile)
November 4, 2012 at 12:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This is not a man from a 19th century Gothic noir novel. Regardless of race, age and financial standing he clearly has gone completely berserk and needs restraining. Let the authorities get on with their job without bias, wild assumptions and absurd armchair health diagnosis.

samuel (anonymous profile)
November 4, 2012 at 5:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Typical SB attitude"

Only stupid aholes say this sort of thing.

truth_machine (anonymous profile)
November 4, 2012 at 8:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"the perpetrator is a rich White guy, so he gets away with terrorizing a woman" ??

Yes just like OJ ..

My advice: think for yourself and don't always follow the "standard liberal party line" you will go a lot farther.

yendopostal (anonymous profile)
November 4, 2012 at 10:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why exactly was he not arrested before this crime?

This guy has been a "crime wave"!

What? can we not afford to arrest dangerous people and keep them in jail?

How scary that he was still out "trolling"!

I hope Santa barbara can afford to "keep" him in jail now!

So he can do no more harm!


penelopeb (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 12:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Just like OJ? lol, OJ isn't white...

SB won't keep him in jail, he will make bail, his lawyer will have a list of mental problems to blame it on and he will be able to keep hurting people until he kills someone.

santabarbarasand (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 7:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

6-weeks after a hi-speed chase, this idiot imprisons two women and assaults them in a variety of ways. Shouldn't he have been in jail after the chase? Probation? A singed note saying he promises to behave or he won't get any ice cream for dessert?
Meth anyone? Brain tumor? Whatever it is, he needs to be caged for good.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 8:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Well perhaps he is a connected biker individual since he is opening a biker bar? Noted, bail withheld.

We all have crappy stuff happen in our lives. No need to take it out on the rest of the general population. Sounds like a bully. Perhaps some time in the tank, to clean up and think about it will help. Get yourself some help buddy before you hurt someone really bad (or worse) and damage the remainder of your family.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 10:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Is this him? business man? jeepers creepers!

Oh and the disturbance at 5am? hmmm (pinky in corner of mouth). What were they doing up at that time of the morning? Sounds like a pretty gnarly binge.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 11:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The article states Stinchfield has been "depressed and acting erratically since his wife died three years ago".

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 11:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Interesting that you all have such an uninformed opinion about the entire situation. You must all be living that pie in the sky lifestyle in Santa Barbara. This guy just didn't drop out of the sky, he has a family, that is extremely concerned about him, and kids that have to live with this. What he did is wrong, and we know that, but he doesn't, in his mind, there a million voices, and an entire lifetime of abuses. Please let the courts do their job, and shut the hell up!

perry (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 6:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Perry: ditto.
The problem Stinchfield now faces: He's allegedly committed a crime against females. In this town that's tantamount to Life Without Parole because it's the kind of case in which Dudley and her doyennes of delirious doofusness take delight.
Guy-on-guy violence gets probation (see Koa Misi), while guy-on-girl violence (guy fighting off hooker thief a couple months ago) get slammed into prison.
Santa Barbara is a sad prosecutorial mess and the voters know it. Dudley needs to start looking for her next do a couple of her boy-toy judges.

Beachgirl77 (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 8:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I guess I should have added that this might've been avoidable if he had received some kind of help, or had been open to it. people who experience grief/loss react in strange ways sometimes- often over-selfmedicating.
We can only hope everyone gets the healing they need.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
November 5, 2012 at 10:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

His mind, his problem, his family...are not my problem. Nor my families or my comminuties. They are his. I am not buying the feel sorry for him stuff. Yup he needs help. So either his family will have to intervene or the cops will. Simple enough too much crap has gone on in the immediate past and sooner or later this guy is gonna pop and really hurt somone. Yup, maybe they were hookers trying to rob him. So, what is he doing up at 5am on Friday morning with hookers? Get your #$%@#$ together dude. And owning a bar? LOL!

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
November 6, 2012 at 8:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@Perry, I'm sure he does have a family who is concerned about him. I have no doubt about that. None of us knows anything more than what we've seen unfold in the news. He has been involved in a previous crime in which he terrorized a woman and caused a high speed chase and now this second incident. I don't really care if this is from mental illness, drugs or any other cause, nor do I care to speculate on it.

What I AM concerned about is the people who live in our community who may have been victimized, raped and hurt by this man.

If you want to call expressing that concern in a public forum "pie in the sky" then so be it.

Native1 (anonymous profile)
November 6, 2012 at 8:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

his story seems "Made for Television" and he looks the part.

GluteousMaximus (anonymous profile)
November 6, 2012 at 9:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This guy has meth written all over his life, his face and his business.

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
November 6, 2012 at 10:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I am totally embarrased for a lot of you. I only hope you don't ever, and I mean ever, have to live thru this with anyone of your family members. As I said, let the courts take their course, no one is cutting him any slack, but your opinions are totally meaningless.

perry (anonymous profile)
November 6, 2012 at 1:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And I hope you never have to live with being raped, Perry.

Native1 (anonymous profile)
November 6, 2012 at 2:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Native1, I do, every single day. But I have tried to make myself more educated as to how these things happen, and understand the mental state of these types of crimes. You should be very careful what you say to people you don't know.

perry (anonymous profile)
November 7, 2012 at 6:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Because why? It is an opinion on an open webpage. Native1 is entitled to it just like you, me and everyone else. Or is that a cyberthreat?

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
November 7, 2012 at 10:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Perry, this is my last comment on this subject. But I wanted to tell you that I realize you're trying to make a point and it's coming from a place of concern and deep frustration.

But, you could have had a conversation develop had you not seemed so determined on trying to invalidate other people's right to an opinion or reaction. You don't seem to want a conversation, particularly given the subject matter. You seem to want to try to convince other people that their opinion is wrong and that only yours is valid.

Your tone has moved from hostile to vaguely threatening. Not conducive to getting people to see your way of thinking. Next time, take your own advice and be careful what you say and how you say it, if you want people to actually think about what you're saying.

And just so you know, there are myriad commenters here with different opinions on nearly every subject. Sometimes things get heated. But nobody here is going to put up with being threatened or told they shouldn't have the right to express an opinion. Nobody.

Native1 (anonymous profile)
November 7, 2012 at 11:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Native1 your rape comment is the rudest I've ever read online and I've unfortunately read hundreds of thousands of comments.

You need serious help, dude.

Lars (anonymous profile)
November 7, 2012 at 8:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Lars: What did Native1 say that was offensive? I've looked over his/her comments twice and didn't see anything that was out of line.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
November 7, 2012 at 9:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Lars, the reason you think my comment is rude is because you've completely misinterpreted it.

If you read the entire comment thread here it might help to understand what I was saying, but just in case you still need me to, I'm happy to explain:

The commenter stated they hoped nobody ever had to "live through" having a family member accused of these violent crimes and rape. I simply turned their own comment wording back around to show that there should be more empathy for the potential victims in this story than they were showing.

I'm a rape survivor and I would never make a rape joke or a flip or rude comment about the subject.

Native1 (anonymous profile)
November 8, 2012 at 6:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I understand what Perry says, but if it was my family then they would be on their own, because we could not condone his actions. Yes, he needs help, and it should be the help that everyone else gets when they commit these type of crimes-prison. If he is fortunate, he won't get a lifetime of this therapy, only a few years to see the good things he is missing in life because of his actions. If he cared so much about the good things in life now (his family, his work, his friends) then this would not have happened. Obviously, there are other things he likes better.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
November 8, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Also, Perry might not think that our opinion matters much, but it is people like us who will be in a jury if this goes that far.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
November 8, 2012 at 1:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

That's a morale booster AZ!

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
November 8, 2012 at 1:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Draxor suggested the possibility of a brain tumor. This is very possible. The question I have is this: Does this man have a long history of this behavior? If not, then he needs to be approached as a medical case before deciding how the courts deal with him. What if it turns out it's a brain tumor and they remove it and he's ok? Should he do jail time for impulses over which he had no control, and would no longer be a threat? Otherwise, he needs to be removed from society.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
November 8, 2012 at 5:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"His mind, his problem, his family...are not my problem. Nor my families or my comminuties (sic)." @bimboteskie

"...but if it was my family then they would be on their own" @AZ2SB

People who knew Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Wade Michael Page and Seung-Hui Cho probably said the same thing.

Violent crime has an effect on all members of the community whether we want to admit it or not. "Every man, woman and child for themselves" is not a choice we really have to make. When we rent or own a residence in a populated area, we become members of a community by default. None of us are truly independent or separate from the herd. We are connected to our family, friends and neighbors for better or for worse. Words can't sever the ties or lessen the pain felt by the community when a single member makes a terrible choice or exhibits behavior that is difficult to understand.

Kudos to Ken and Bill for demonstrating a desire to understand what happened and to address some possible reasons why it happened. It is possible to achieve a better understanding of human behavior without condoning or excusing said behavior.

Kingprawn (anonymous profile)
November 8, 2012 at 7:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Native1, You're right. I misinterpreted your remarks. Sorry.

Lars (anonymous profile)
November 9, 2012 at 7:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Lars, no worries. I'm glad I got to explain what I meant!

Native1 (anonymous profile)
November 10, 2012 at 7:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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