Police are trying to piece together what led up to a gang fight near Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens around 9:55 p.m. on Wednesday, January 2. According to a report from Santa Barbara Police spokesperson Lt. Paul McCaffrey, an altercation erupted between two groups of people: a pair of brothers and a group of four or five Hispanic males. A knife was pulled by a member of the larger group, and a one of the brothers threw his bicycle at one of his attackers. In the end, the two brothers escaped to their home, whereupon their mother took them to Cottage Hospital. One brother, 17, was examined for stab wounds he suffered during the scuffle.
McCaffrey’s report indicated the exchange may have began when the second group of people approached the brothers, asking them “where they were from.” The brothers allegedly responded with their gang affiliation, with one pledging to fight the larger group one at a time. However, McCaffrey also noted that neither brother would cooperate with police and the lead-up to the conflict remains unclear.
The report also notes that an 18-year-old man suspected of belonging to a rival gang checked himself into Cottage Hospital during the time when police were questioning the brothers. The 18-year-old had a badly lacerated hand, which he claimed was the result of a skateboarding accident. Though he gave a location where he claimed the incident occurred, police found no evidence of any blood at this spot.
Thought police say the incident at the park was probably gang-related, the report did not specify whether the second injury happened in connection with gang activity.