Man Allegedly Lights Fires on State Street, Threatens Police with Large Crystal

Diego Hernandez-Mendez Also Reportedly Stalked Female Pedestrian

Photo: SBPDBooking photo of Diego Hernandez-Mendez.

Santa Barbara police arrested 32-year-old Diego Hernandez-Mendez on Sunday after he allegedly lit objects on fire in the middle of State Street, stalked a pedestrian, and then threatened responding officers with what was described as a seven-inch “jagged crystalized amethyst.”

According to police, employees of a business in the 1200 block of State Street called 9-1-1 to report Hernandez-Mendez lighting objects on fire in the middle of the pedestrian promenade and peering into cars parked along intersections. A female pedestrian also flagged down officers to report Hernandez-Mendez was following her. 


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When officers confronted him, he reportedly ran. As the officers closed in, he suddenly stopped and raised the crystal in his right hand, police said, but was detained before he could strike. Hernandez-Mendez was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, being under the influence of a controlled substance, and probation violations.


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