Santa Barbara Man Turns Himself in for Halloween Crimes

Suspect Scott J. Manser Arrested for Alleged Hit-and-Run Spree, Assault on Trump Supporter

Suspect Scott J. Manser was the previous owner of the now-closed Champagne Room on Haley Street back in 2016. | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

Santa Barbara Police identified and arrested a man charged with committing three misdemeanor hit and runs, one felony theft, and one felony assault on Halloween. The alleged theft and assault took place during a caravan rally for Trump that paraded through Santa Barbara last weekend.

Suspect Scott J. Manser, age 32, is a resident of Los Angeles and was driving a silver Land Rover SUV in the North Milpas Street and East Anapamu Street area when, according to police, he drove over a curb and into the front of residential properties, hitting objects and damaging the vehicle before abandoning it in the East De La Guerra and North Milpas Street area around 12:15 p.m.

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The extent of the alleged crimes didn’t end there, however. A few hours later around 3:20 p.m., suspect Manser reportedly attacked a citizen by taking their Make America Great Again hat and removing and ripping an American flag that had been attached to the victim’s vehicle after Manser had also verbally harassed others in the caravan on East Beach, according to witnesses. Because he fled the scene instantly, law enforcement did not witness the event but were able to obtain videos taken by citizens’ on their cell phones.

About a week later, on November 6 at 10:30 a.m., Manser voluntarily came to the Santa Barbara Police Department with his attorney to turn himself in. He was arrested and booked without incident at the Santa Barbara County Jail for three counts of misdemeanor hit-and-run, one count felony theft from a person, and one count felony battery.  

Though listed as a Los Angeles resident by the Santa Barbara Police, Manser has owned several businesses in Santa Barbara. He was the previous owner of the now-closed Champagne Room on Haley Street back in 2016, and he was a previous co-owner of The Shop on Milpas Street back in 2013.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Manser was currently a co-owner owner of The Shop. In fact, he is no longer a co-owner or affiliated with the business.

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