Two Arrested for Ortega Park Assault
Man Hit in Head With Hammer
A 17-year-old juvenile and a 19-year-old, David Robert Ybarra, were arrested for an incident in which Ybarra hit a man in the temple with a hammer, according to Santa Barbara police. They were charged with attempted murder, attempted robbery, participation in a criminal street gang, and commission of a hate crime.
According to an SBPD press release, the two suspects and a third companion told a group of men who were playing cards in Ortega Park to get lost because they were Mexican. They also demanded money. When one of the card players whistled, the three instigators — who had identified themselves as gang members — interpreted it as a challenge. They approached the victim, and Ybarra extracted a hammer from somewhere beneath his clothing before hitting the man on his head. The three alleged gang members then fled the scene. The victim was also gone by the time police arrived after receiving a 911 call at 10:08 p.m.
The police found witnesses and the crime scene, and eventually found the victim at his home. He was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Emergency Room to be treated, and required a week-long stay.
Ybarra was arrested on August 9 and booked into County Jail with a bail of $780,000. He had just been released for a separate offense. The juvenile — whom the District Attorney plans on prosecuting as an adult — was taken into custody on August 11. He too had been detained for another offense.
Because the victim was allegedly targeted for his nationality, police added the hate crime charge.