Santa Barbara Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte gave a weekend wrap-up of police activity for October 17 and 18 on Monday, and announced the following incidents.
Public Possession of Alcohol Call Ends in Drug Arrest
At 3:55 p.m. on Saturday, October 17, officers were dispatched to the Car Stereo Guys automotive shop at 135 S. Milpas St. on a call of a suspect allegedly drinking. Officers observed Michael Marquez, 41, sitting on a mattress near the rear of the building. As the officers approached the man, they allegedly saw him hide something underneath a blanket.
According to Duarte, when officers looked underneath the blanket, they found a number of small plastic bags containing cocaine, a hypodermic syringe, and a pipe used to smoke cocaine. Officers then searched Marquez’s backpack and reportedly found methadone pills inside. The officers also determined that Marquez was under the influence of a controlled substance. Marquez was arrested and booked at Santa Barbara County Jail for possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sales, possession of controlled substance paraphernalia, possession of a hypodermic syringe, and for being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Officers Arrest Juveniles on Arson Charges
At approximately 5 p.m. on October 17, officers responded to a call alleging three juveniles had set a palm tree on fire near the intersection of Santa Barbara and East Ortega streets. When officers arrived on the scene, firefighters were already working to put out the fire, so officers searched the area and spotted two juveniles who matched the description the caller provided near De la Guerra Plaza on State Street.
When the three juveniles saw officers approaching, they allegedly attempted to hide from them by running into De la Guerra Plaza. After a brief foot pursuit, two of the three juveniles, both 14 years old, were taken into custody and booked into Santa Barbara County Juvenile Hall for arson and resisting and delaying arrest.
Police Take Two Roommates into Custody for Assault
Officers were dispatched to the 1300 block of San Andres Street on Sunday, October 18, at approximately 10:30 p.m. to respond to a call of a disturbance in progress. When they arrived, officers made contact with the victim, a 26-year-old male. The man told officers that when he came home, he observed his two roommates – Celestino Ojendis, 56, and Mario Zamora, 33 – drinking alcohol and playing loud music.
The victim told officers that when he asked the men to turn the music down, Ojendis allegedly responded by trying to hit him with a bottle. After the victim avoided being hit, Zamora allegedly came at him with a knife, told him he was going to kill him, and eventually attempted to stab him. The victim then fled the scene.
When officers took Ojendis and Zamora into custody, a search of the two men revealed Zamora had a knife on his person. Both men were then arrested and booked on charges of assault with deadly weapon.