A 29-year-old man who used to live in Montecito and claims he’s a member of the Bloods has been arrested for attempted murder for allegedly hitting a 27-year-old Santa Barbara resident with his car following an argument at a party in September. Avery Morris Jr., who at the time of the incident was on felony probation for resisting an officer by threat or violence, was arrested in Pasadena on November 13 and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail six days later. His bail is set at $1 million.
According to Sgt. Riley Harwood with the SBPD, Morris and the victim — who are acquaintances — were both at a party in the 500 block of West Gutierrez Street on September 13 when Morris was asked to leave at around 10:45 p.m. after offending the host. Morris became angry, said he had a gun, and punched a partygoer on the way out the door. “Other partygoers, angry at Morris’s behavior, started kicking Morris’s vehicle which was parked on the street,” said Harwood in a press release. “The car, a black Audi S6, is registered to Morris’s girlfriend. Morris went to his car and left the scene, repeatedly threatening that he had a gun and was going to kill people at the party. He also repeatedly stated that he was a Blood gang member.”
After leaving the party, returning for a moment to make more threats, and then leaving again, Morris returned to the scene once more. He sped down the street, Harwood said, and struck the victim who was standing on the roadway. “Witnesses stated that Morris tracked the victim with his car and struck the victim as the victim attempted to dodge the collision,” Harwood said. The man suffered multiple serious injuries, including a head wound, and was transported to Cottage Hospital. Morris had fled the scene.
After interviewing a number of witnesses, SBPD detectives identified Morris as their suspect and tracked his address to the 1400 block of Schoolhouse Road in Montecito. They discovered, though, that Morris had moved without notifying the Santa Barbara County Probation Department. The detectives eventually coordinated with Pasadena police who arrested Morris in a residence. “Additionally, over the course of this investigation detectives learned of additional instances where Morris has claimed membership in the Los Angeles area Blood gang,” said Harwood. “Consequently, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office has been asked to consider filing an additional felony charge against Morris for active participation in a criminal street gang.”