The Santa Barbara Police Department arrested two gang members Wednesday night after one of them allegedly tried to grope a woman walking down the street while the other man prevented her from getting away, according to SBPD spokesperson Riley Harwood. Edgar Rojas, 18, and Jose Moran, 19, were both arrested for felony sexual battery and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail at $25,000 each. Rojas was also charged with resisting or delaying an officer, and Moran with carrying a concealed dirk or dagger and possessing a vandalism tool.
According to Harwood, the 52-year-old female victim was walking down the 300 block of South Voluntario Street after getting off a bus when the two men began to catcall her. Rojas then allegedly groped her while Moran blocked her movement. Rojas tried to grope her again, making lewd comments, when the men stopped, thinking they were being watched.
Shortly thereafter, police responded to a report of sexual battery on that same block and found the two men by a nearby apartment building. Rojas resisted arrest and tried to run away, Harwood said, so police tasered him. Officers found a concealed screwdriver on Moran, who said he was carrying it to defend himself against rival gang members. Moran was also found with an aerosol paint nozzle, which Harwood said is often used to spray graffiti.