A 39-year-old Santa Barbara man who police say may be armed has barricaded himself in his Bath Street home after authorities tried to arrest him earlier this evening on charges of felony battery, brandishing a firearm, and animal cruelty.
As of 8:05 p.m., the man — whom police have not identified — remains in his residence surrounded by the police department’s SWAT team and other emergency responders. Most of the 800 block of Bath Street between Canon Perdido and De la Guerra streets has been blocked off, and nearby residents have been evacuated.
Police spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood said officers received a call at around 11:30 a.m. today of an incident involving the subject. He declined to go into detail on the incident, but explained officers have had contact with the man in the past. An investigation began at 12:20 p.m., and authorities secured an arrest warrant not long after.
At around 6:15 p.m., the SWAT team, accompanied by crisis negotiation and K9 units, descended on the home and ordered its inhabitants to come outside. The SBPD’s armored vehicle, the Bearcat, has also been deployed. Four people emerged, but the suspect refused to comply, said Harwood. Authorities are in the process of trying to get him surrender, he said, explaining he couldn’t go into details on the operation.
A Bath Street neighbor described the suspect as tall, white, and bald. He reportedly owns three dogs, and as many as 10 people may live in the residence, the neighbor said, speculating that many of them are multigenerational family members. Another neighbor claimed the suspect attempted suicide in recent years: that he shot himself under the chin but survived.
Check back for updates to this unfolding story.
[UPDATE, 8:32 p.m.]: The suspect has been tentatively identified as “Nick.” Shortly before 8:30 p.m., he was witnessed turning off lights throughout the home.