[UPDATE: April 21, 6:00 p.m.] Santa Barbara Police Department arrested the person suspected to have tasered the 72-year-old woman on Monday evening. After following up on various tips provided by community members regarding the elder abuse incident, police spokesperson Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale said, officers were able to identify and locate 41-year-old Santa Barbara resident Violetta Hatipoglu and make an arrest without incident.
Ragsdale said that the investigation found that in the incident, Hatipoglu and the victim were in a verbal argument, which led to “Hatipoglu using a flashlight-taser on the victim several times.”
The small pink plastic flashlight-taser was recovered during the arrest, and Hatipoglu was taken to the Santa Barbara County Jail and booked on felony charges for elder abuse and assault with a taser. Her bail was set at $20,000.
“Santa Barbara Police would like to thank the community and media outlets that assisted with the investigation,” Ragsdale said.
[Original Story] Santa Barbara police are seeking the public’s assistance in locating a woman suspected of tasing a 72-year-old woman somewhere on the 2900 block of State Street several times while she was speaking to a relative on her cell phone at 7:30 Monday evening.
Police spokesperson Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale said the assault appeared “unprovoked” and that the assailant had no known relationship to the victim. The victim, whose name has not been released, did not suffer any visible injuries as a result of the attack. Ragsdale said the assault remains the subject of an ongoing investigation and that no motive has been established.
Ragsdale provided few details as to what was in the incident report, such as what — if anything — the assailant might have said before brandishing the Taser and zapping the victim. He did say that the assault had been independently confirmed by the relative the victim was speaking with on the phone at the time of the attack.
According to Ragsdale, the assailant is described as a Hispanic woman in her mid-thirties, about 5’4” and 160 pounds. She was dressed in gray athletic pants and wearing a gray knit beanie hat and a brown jacket. She also was accompanied by a German shepherd. Ragsdale said no other assaults involving a woman with a dog and brandishing a Taser have been reported.
Video of the suspected assailant was captured as she entered the CVS on 2900 block of State Street. Police investigators hope to contact the woman in the video for questioning. The number to call is (805) 882-8900 or 9-1-1.