Gang Member Stabs East Beach Exerciser

17-Year-Old Suspect in Custody; Victim with No Known Gang Ties Remains in Hospital

A 23-year-old Goleta man remains in serious but stable condition at Cottage Hospital after he was stabbed once on the left side of his chest while exercising with a friend Monday evening on East Beach.

A 17-year-old suspect, who police say is the stabber, was arrested soon after on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. The Santa Barbara resident will also likely face a gang enhancement charge. Because the suspect is a juvenile, his identity is not being released at this time, explained Santa Barbara police spokesperson Sergeant Riley Harwood.

Harwood said the victim and his friend — who police say are not gang members — were approached by the 17-year-old and another young subject near the volleyball courts at around 7:10 p.m. There was a verbal challenge of some kind — Harwood couldn’t elaborate on the altercation — and the victim was swiftly attacked.

Officers obtained a physical description of the suspect, and a canine unit picked up his scent at nearby Dwight Murphy Field. The dog followed the trail “through a canal, under the railroad tracks,” and onto the 1100 block of Punta Gorda where the teen was arrested, Harwood said.

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