A man reportedly at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse to attend the first day of the gang injunction hearing was arrested there Monday afternoon after Sheriff’s deputies found a backpack under a bench containing his identification and an airsoft gun, ammunition, two knives, and reported gang material. According to the Sheriff’s Office, 26-year-old Brian Charles Ruiz has a gang affiliation. He was charged with felony possession of bringing an airsoft gun and knives to a court building and was booked into the County Jail at $20,000 bail.
Around noon on Monday, a bailiff was searching the area outside Department 5 — where the trial is being held — and found the backpack, said Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kelly Hoover. Inside, deputies allegedly found ammunition and a loaded magazine for a .22 rifle, along with two knives, CDs with gang writing, and a video camera that showed “suspected gang association,” Hoover said. After officers found Ruiz’s identification in the backpack, he was arrested when he came to get the backpack. Hoover added that Ruiz, who was reportedly wearing an anti-injunction T-shirt, is “known to local law enforcement and has a gang affiliation.”