A Santa Barbara homeless man — 42-year-old Eric Uzelac — was arrested last Thursday after he was observed masturbating in public around Quinto Street and Oak Park Lane.

According to a police spokesperson, a woman living at 200 West Quinto Street saw Uzelac lying on her back porch couch and smoking a cigarette at 8:10 a.m. By the time she went to another room of the house to tell her husband, Uzelac had left

Eric Uzelac

At 8:15 a.m., the spokesperson continued, a 15-year-old girl walking to the bus stop at the intersection of State Street and Quinto Street observed Uzelac rubbing his genitals over his pants. He said something to her, but she couldn’t hear him because she was listening to music on headphones. Frightened, she crossed the street and walked home to tell her grandmother. When she arrived, she noticed Uzelac was standing across the street, having apparently followed her. The girl went inside and notified her grandmother, who walked outside to find Uzelac sitting on a chair on the front porch of the residence. His pants were down, and his penis was exposed, the woman told police, and Uzelac was masturbating. The woman yelled at Uzelac, who shouted obscenities at her before leaving.

Then, at 8:50 a.m., a woman returning home from walking her dog found Uzelac standing on the sidewalk a few feet from her 2200 Oak Park Lane residence exposing his penis, facing some bushes, and masturbating. When she approached her gate to get inside, Uzelac turned, faced her, and continued masturbating.

Uzelac, said police, had two contacts with the SBPD in 2010 and six contacts in 2012 so far. All of his previous crimes were minor and didn’t involve sexual activity. He does, however, have a prior conviction for indecent exposure in Manhattan Beach.

Uzelac was booked into County Jail on a variety of charges, including indecent exposure, lewd conduct, child annoying, and prowling. His bail is set at $35,000.


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