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The suspect in the Bath Street standoff was taken in to custody at approximately 2:30 a.m.

Paul Wellman

The suspect in the Bath Street standoff was taken in to custody at approximately 2:30 a.m.


Bath Street Standoff Ends Relatively Peacefully

Suspect Withstands Tear Gas and Nonlethal Shotgun Round Before Surrendering


Originally published 12:00 p.m., January 9, 2014
Updated 2:30 p.m., January 9, 2014
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The man barricaded in his Bath Street residence was seen through a window yelling to SWAT as they tried to enter the building at 12:45 a.m.
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

The man barricaded in his Bath Street residence was seen through a window yelling to SWAT as they tried to enter the building at 12:45 a.m.

The 39-year-old man who barricaded himself in his Bath Street home Wednesday evening after police tried to arrest him on battery and gun charges surrendered to authorities at around 2:30 a.m. His name has not been released, and officials have offered few details on the incident or the altercation earlier in the day that eventually led to the standoff.

At around 11 p.m. – five hours after the man locked himself inside – members of the Santa Barbara Police Department’s SWAT Team fired multiple rounds of tear gas into the suspect’s home. They appeared to have little effect, and the suspect remained inside. The decision was made an hour later to enter the home, and upon confronting the man, a SWAT team member shot him with a nonlethal shotgun round. According to police, the suspect — armed with a machete — then retreated into the upstairs area of the residence and again refused to comply with orders to come outside.

Bath Street standoff
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Bath Street standoff

After communications with the subject were reestablished — police tossed a “throw phone” up to the man — he surrendered with no further incident. Police spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood had explained earlier in the evening that officers received a call at around 11:30 a.m. of an incident involving the subject. He declined to go into detail, 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.

Bath Street standoff
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Bath Street standoff

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, was also deployed. Four people emerged, but the suspect refused to comply, said Harwood. Nearby residents were evacuated, and the 800 block of Bath Street was cordoned off. Initial reports indicated the man may have been armed with a gun.

A Bath Street neighbor said the suspect — who was also charged with animal cruelty — owns three dogs, and that as many as 10 people live in the residence, many of them multigenerational family members. Another neighbor claimed the suspect attempted suicide in recent years: that he shot himself under the chin but survived.

[UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.]: Police have identified the Bath Street barricade suspect as Nicola Zeno Mollo Jr. The original assault call, spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood said, came after Mollo allegedly kicked a 61-year-old female victim down a flight of concrete stairs at the residence. She suffered multiple injuries in the fall, including a broken ankle. Harwood said the woman had witnessed Mollo repeatedly punching the family’s 4-month-old pit bull puppy and tried to intervene. Mollo became enraged, Harwood said, and responded by pointing a handgun at the woman and threatening to kill her before the assault occurred.

Nicola Zeno Mollo Jr.
Click to enlarge photo

SBPD

Nicola Zeno Mollo Jr.

Because Mollo “has a history of violence that includes the use of a firearm and is affiliated with an outlaw motorcycle gang,” Harwood explained, police responded to his residence with its SWAT team and Crisis Negotiation Response Team (CNRT) to serve an arrest warrant. Mollo refused to be taken into custody, Harwood went on, and verbally threatened officers that he was in possession of an AK-47 assault rifle.

When officers eventually made entry into Mollo’s residence, they discovered he had filled the premises with natural gas from the kitchen stove and had left a burning candle nearby, Harwood said. “Investigation later revealed that Mollo brandished the machete at SWAT officers because he wanted to provoke them into shooting and killing him,” he went on. “Investigation further revealed that he filled his residence with gas because he wanted to harm the officers and to set the premises on fire.”

Mollo is being held without bail at Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, battery resulting in bodily injury, brandishing a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, and terrorist threats. Additional charges may be filed.

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The meaning of "relative" has sure changed in SB.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
January 9, 2014 at 1:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's the litany:

Charged with animal cruelty — owns three dogs
10 people live in the residence, many of them multi-generational family members.
Suspect attempted suicide in recent years, that he shot himself under the chin but survived.

Kicked a 61-year-old female victim down a flight of concrete stairs at the residence. She suffered multiple injuries in the fall, including a broken ankle.
Repeatedly punching the family’s four-month-old pit bull puppy and tried to intervene.
Pointed a handgun at the woman and threatened to kill her.
History of violence that includes the use of a firearm.
Affiliated with an outlaw motorcycle gang,”

Filled the premises with natural gas from the kitchen stove and had left a burning candle nearby because he wanted to harm the officers and to set the premises on fire.
Brandished the machete at SWAT officers because he wanted to provoke

Held without bail at Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of:
Assault with a deadly weapon.
Battery resulting in bodily injury.
Brandishing a firearm.
Felon in possession of a firearm.
Terrorist threats.
Additional charges may be filed.

Anybody see a pattern here?

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
January 9, 2014 at 4:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Poder,Poder, where are't Thou?

garfish (anonymous profile)
January 9, 2014 at 6:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This guy is a member of "an outlaw motorcycle gang ". The useless gang injunction would have no effect on him or his associates. Just another reason why the proposed injunction is a compete waste of time and money.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
January 9, 2014 at 6:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So let's have the injunction cast a wider net ,which is what the majority of us too busy working and paying taxes to be activists want anyways....

garfish (anonymous profile)
January 9, 2014 at 7:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Police brutality plain and simple. Obviously.

We need an independent commission to investigate and two blue ribbon panels; the 2nd one to check the first ones work, which will be corrupt and invalid because it had no Mexican-American-Swedish-Japanese bikers on it.

We also need a lawsuit for $5 million to bring justice for this man for his injuries by SWAT which are 10% physical and 90% emotional damage.
($10 million is only warranted if he dies via suicide by cop and has a family eager to retire.)

Lastly, justice will only be served after the Supreme Court rules that the police union overstepped their bounds by not letting the city workers union shut off the gas main before entering the house and thus infringing on the rights of all government union workers jobs. The penalty: a new gas worker union protection department staffed by 5 new union workers to track SWAT to end this abuse.

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
January 9, 2014 at 8:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

They didn't shoot him because they were afraid JohnLocke would compare them to NYPD again.

deniseL (anonymous profile)
January 9, 2014 at 9:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This person is a menace to society, he doesn't belong in it.

zuma7 (anonymous profile)
January 10, 2014 at 8:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Does anyone know what happened to the animals in the residence? Or the one he was beating? Doesn't sound like a safe environment for them...

SummerlandSmartie (anonymous profile)
January 10, 2014 at 8:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I say a prayer for the police officers. I have seen the aftermath of a structure accidential filled with gas and the resultant explosion. Nothing was left, leveled and blown out windows in a one block radius.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
January 10, 2014 at 9:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Still laughing, deniseL...and zuma7, I agree with you.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
January 10, 2014 at 11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Monday morning quarterback time: Were the utilities shut off shortly after it was determined the suspect was "barricaded?" If not, why not? The apartment/suspect was breached approximately five hours after the incident began and the suspect was reportedly armed. It appears the PD knew this suspect has a violent history Why not wait longer? The suspect was isolated and as I understand neighbors or other persons were not in any danger. Could the tear gas round that was fired into the apartment create a fire? What is the purpose of the "hostage negotiator" if not to try and talk a suspect(s) out of an incident such as this. As long as the suspect is talking, no one, suspect or police, are likely to be injured. Rush an armed suspect and all hell can break loose. I'd appreciate hearing the reason(s) police acted so quickly. Again, in my opinion, it doesn't appear much time/effort was used to talk the suspect out or wait him out from the start of this incident. Glad to see if successful conclusion to this operation.

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
January 10, 2014 at 12:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Blah...
Yes, I see a pattern. Mollo, Tacadena, and the serial burgler who was just released are indicitive of how repeat offenders keep getting released into the general population so they can contaminate our world with their anti-social behavior.

Some good comments here, and Zuma sums it up best: This guy does not belong in an uncontrolled environment.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
January 10, 2014 at 6:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I love people like whatsinsb... They take their Movie/TV knowledge and put it to good use.

I think you are off on your times and then make assumptions. I would suggest you reread the article.

deniseL (anonymous profile)
January 11, 2014 at 12:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

denise - As to the time involved I indicated it was "approximate" as I don't know the exact time element involved. Please correct what you believe is in error and enlighten us. If you know, how much time passed from first contact with the barricaded suspect before tear gas was used? I wasn't making any assumptions, I was making a statement with questions based on what I read. My opinion and point is that it (appears) more time could have been taken to talk the suspect out of the apartment. Why the rush to fire a tear gas round (if it could have caused a fire), or even if fire was not possible using this projectile? It doesn't appear the suspect was going anywhere as the immediate area was secured. Again, because the area was secured and no other persons appeared in jeopardy could more time have spent trying to talk the suspect out of the apartment, if you know? It appears the PD knew the suspects "violent history," why put any officer's or the suspect in a position to be injured/killed (if) more time could have been spent in an attempt to talk the suspect out? What part of the article(s) should I read again that will indicate my thoughts & concerns are not justified?

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
January 11, 2014 at 12:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How long should they wait with neighbors out of their homes in the cold? 8 hours, 12 hours, 1 day, 7 days? What is your magic number?

The article said they arrived at 6:15 pm and called everyone out. They tried tear gas at 5 hours, not breaching. The photo of the suspect says that the police were entering at 1245am. 6 1/2 hours after they first ordered him out.

If they waited longer wouldn't the house have filled up with more gas and eventually explode? Wouldn't your idea, even knowing what the article states, be the wrong thing to do? Or do you think the exploding fire ball would just be contained to his house? How should they have dealt with the gas filling the house, just wait it out and see what happens?

So how long should they have waited? If you were his neighbor evacuated from your home would you feel the same way? I challenge you to go to a park and sit there for 6 1/2 hours, then come back and tell me that wasnt much time.

You assume that the negotiators didnt try and talk to him or keep him talking, why? It doesnt say that in the story. When I read the story I assumed they tried and he refused to talk or told them to go away and he wasn't giving up. They did something dor 6 1/2 hours. But maybe I am wrong.

deniseL (anonymous profile)
January 11, 2014 at 9:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

well, well. a non-lethal round! Maybe the publicity around the SBPD's behavior has finally had an effect.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
January 12, 2014 at 9:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

billclausen:

"@Blah...
Yes, I see a pattern. Mollo, Tacadena, and the serial burgler who was just released are indicitive of how repeat offenders keep getting released into the general population so they can contaminate our world with their anti-social behavior."

Absolutely true, 100%!

billclausen: "Some good comments here, and Zuma sums it up best: This guy does not belong in an uncontrolled environment."

Again, absolutely correct!

JohnLocke: "well, well. a non-lethal round! Maybe the publicity around the SBPD's behavior has finally had an effect."

No John, the situation was a tactical approach situation and allowed the use for such a system to be deployed and used. Get over your AHLE syndrome friend, it is stubting your growth!

whatsinsb, dude, you definitely know the ins and outs of Special Weapons And Tactics operations mode. Good description of the hows and whys.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
January 13, 2014 at 2:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Looks more than ready for his own cage. Enjoy your vacation away from society for a long long time, loser.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
January 14, 2014 at 11:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It is now official, THE DRAX HAS SPOKEN!

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
January 14, 2014 at 11:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

THE DRAX,,,man of many lives and incarnations.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
January 14, 2014 at 2:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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