[Update: May 19, 2021] The suspect who drove his car off the cliff in Isla Vista was identified on Tuesday as UCSB student Wilhelm Tallo. He was charged with violating the Fish and Game Code for putting a vehicle, and its oils and gasoline harmful to wildife, within 100 feet of a waterway. Tallo was also charged with resisting arrest, as he was initially uncooperative and ran from officers who attempted to detain him. According to Sergeant Daniel Wilson of the UCSB Police Department, Tallo was arrested near Isla Vista’s West Campus Apartments and booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail. His motive is unknown at this time, and alcohol and drugs are not believed to have been a factor.
[Original Story] An Isla Vista resident drove his vehicle off the 30- to 40-foot cliff just past the 6800 block of Del Playa Drive on Saturday night and landed on Devereux Beach. The tide was up at the time, and the person, as yet unidentified, was described by scanner traffic as “a white male with no shoes, long white socks, red long sleeve shirt, long blonde hair, cuts on legs, covered in water.” He was apparently uninjured in the fall.
According to Captain Daniel Bertucelli, press officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, the car fell about 30-40 feet, and firefighters were alerted to the incident around 11:07 p.m. The suspect fled on foot and was detained by law enforcement around 11:50 p.m.
A tow truck arrived Sunday morning during low tide to lift the vehicle up the cliff face. An investigation is ongoing and will be conducted by the UC Santa Barbara Police Department and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
The Independent will update this story as information becomes available.