Westside Stabbings Continue

A recent spate of stabbings by adult gang members in Santa
Barbara indicates that local knife violence is not only a problem
among youth. On Thursday, a man returning home from an Eastside
market was beaten and stabbed numerous times near the Cacique
Street footbridge by a group of five men believed to be Westside
gang members. According to police spokesperson Lt. Paul McCaffrey,
the gang members asked the man and his companion where they were
from. When the men replied that they were born and raised on the
Eastside, one of the gang members punched one of the men. “As the
two started grappling, the gang member spurred a companion into
action by shouting, ‘Stick him, stick him,’” whereupon the victim
was stabbed in the back, McCaffrey wrote in an account of the
crime. “Felled by his wounds,” the account continued, “the victim
was set upon by the group of gang members.” The victim was admitted
to Cottage Hospital in critical condition — later upgraded to
stable — while officers worked through the night to solve the
crime, making one arrest.

Eight Westside gang members were also arrested following a March
31 knife attack that left a 41-year-old man lying in critical
condition in the 700 block of Wentworth Avenue, with multiple stab
wounds to his front and back. Officers first arrested and charged
Urria Tapia, 25, with attempted murder and possession of
methamphetamine. An investigative dragnet during the succeeding
week netted seven additional suspected Westside gang members
ranging in age from 17 to 33. Four were arrested for parole
violations, one for probation violation, and two for outstanding


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