Santa Barbara police arrested seven gang members Sunday night after they allegedly chased a 21-year-old victim — who has no gang affiliation — with a tire iron, bat, and knives along North Voluntario Street.
According to SBPD spokesperson Sgt. Riley Hoover, the victim had dropped off his girlfriend at her home at around 11:30 p.m. when he noticed a white Lincoln Town Car traveling northbound. As it passed, the driver reportedly shouted the name of his group's gang then stopped the car. The occupants got out and “challenged the victim regarding his gang affiliation,” Harwood said. “The victim repeatedly stated that he did not belong to a gang; nevertheless the suspects chased the victim on foot.”
The victim was able to run to the safety of a nearby home, and police soon tracked down and arrested the group on Milpas Street. Five of the suspects were arrested as adults and each booked in jail on $100,000 bail — Andres Hernandez, age 18; Juan Herrera, age 19; Manuel Hernandez, age 18; Angel Garcia, age 18; and Gustavo Leon, age 21. Two 17-year-old males were arrested and booked into Juvenile Hall. Small quantities of cocaine and marijuana were also seized.
The five were charged with participation in a criminal street gang, disturbing the peace, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The youths were charged with participation in a criminal street gang and disturbing the peace.