A Santa Barbara police officer has been placed on administrative leave following his arrest for allegedly masturbating in front of two teenage girls at Refugio Beach. Pending an investigation of the incident by his department, Officer Brian Sawicki is also facing criminal charges. According to a Sheriff’s Department spokesperson, two young teenage girls were walking along Refugio Beach on the afternoon of 8/10 and noticed a man walking behind them. As the two were returning to their campground, they turned around and saw the same man allegedly lying on the ground and masturbating. The girls ran and found a state park ranger, and while they were speaking, they saw the man again. The man took off at a run when the ranger began to approach, but he was eventually caught. The Sheriff’s Department was called, and after interviewing Sawicki, arrested the 33-year-old and seven-year department veteran on three different misdemeanor charges: annoying a child under the age of 18, indecent exposure, and resisting a police officer. Said Police Chief Cam Sanchez in a statement: “I am shocked and deeply disappointed that a member of my department is the subject of this investigation, but I want to assure the public that the department is taking all necessary steps to ensure the public is protected and the investigation is completed in a fair and impartial manner.” Sawicki didn’t respond to a request for comment.


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