Med Clinic Gang Stand-Off

Saul Antonio Cruz (left) and Joaquin Perez.

The Franklin Center Medical Clinic was placed on lock-down for about 40 minutes on Friday, April 3, while Santa Barbara Police officers dispersed a crowd of about 20 suspected Eastside gang members gathered outside and throwing hand signs to a couple of males affiliated with a Westside gang inside. Eight officers showed up and, in the process, arrested four individuals-two juveniles and two adults. One 19-year-old, Saul Antonio Cruz, was arrested for attempting to grab a cell phone being used by a police officer to take pictures of the crowd. A 16-year-old was arrested for chest-bumping an officer when told to leave the scene. And two males-Joaquin Perez, 18, as well as a 15-year-old-were taken to the ground and arrested while walking away and refusing an officer’s command to stop. Police ultimately escorted the Westsiders to their car in the parking lot and watched them drive away. Clinic administrators, sensing trouble early on, locked their doors and moved all patients and staff-about 25 people in all-to secure quarters. “It’s the first time anything like this has happened, but we have procedures in place; we followed them. No one was hurt,” said county health administrator Michele Mickiewicz.


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