Around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, several police cars swarmed the corner of State and Figueroa streets. Santa Barbara Police were responding to a call about bizarre behavior from a customer in a high-end clothing store on the 1100 block of State Street. The store manager said the person was acting erratically, harassing customers, and speaking gibberish. She also said she’d made three calls to 9-1-1 before the first officer arrived at the store.
When the officer came in, the individual yelled and “took a combative stance,” according to police. SBPD spokesperson Anthony Wagner said the person was known to police, and he described her as an “unstable male that dresses as a female.” The responding officer called for backup. The individual was detained while police searched through several of her shopping bags. A number of bystanders watched as officers put her in a police car and transported her to Santa Barbara County Jail. No one was harmed during the incident. Wagner said an investigation is ongoing.
The manager of the store, which she asked the Independent not to identify, said she was concerned about the length of time her frightened staff and customers waited for police to arrive, which she described as a good half hour. Wagner said 10 minutes had elapsed between the first and third phone calls, adding that officers were on calls at the time, and others were participating in a drill at Cottage Hospital with the County Fire Department.