A 29-year-old man sought help from a Sheriff’s deputy on the 5800 block of Hollister Avenue on Wednesday night, saying he was attacked by Roberto Rocha, 39, while sleeping in his car that night on the 50 block of Depot Road.
According to a Sheriff’s Office press release, the victim reported that Rocha woke him up and the two began to fight. He said Rocha left the scene and returned about five minutes later with a gun, which he reportedly used to shoot at and to pistol-whip the victim in the face and on the back of the head. When the victim drove away, Rocha allegedly kept firing shots at the car, the release said.
Suffering several lacerations to his head and face, the victim was treated on scene by Santa Barbara County firefighters and American Medical Response (AMR) paramedics. He refused to be transported to the hospital, the Sheriff’s Office said.
In a search for Rocha, Sheriff’s deputies and a K-9 Unit responded to the 50 block of Depot Road. Deputies found Rocha “intoxicated but cooperative” at a local business where he worked, Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kelly Hoover said in the press release. Rocha showed authorities the location of a stolen 9mm handgun, as well as ammunition, and was arrested and booked into County Jail for alleged attempted murder charges. Hoover also said investigation revealed that Rocha didn’t have any other guns, and that he is known to go by different aliases.
Residents with any information about the incident may call the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at (805) 681-4150 or the anonymous tip-line at (805) 681-4171.