Credit: Courtesy

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s detectives are searching for suspects in an alleged attempted murder at Haskell’s Beach during a bonfire on July 28. Two juvenile victims said they were assaulted by 10-20 people that Friday night, Lieutenant Jarrett Morris stated, and one victim was taken to UCLA Children’s Hospital.

The first indication of the incident was a report to the Sheriff’s Office from Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital around 10 p.m. that a young person had been knocked unconscious and had a possible brain bleed. A second victim had minor injuries. Both said they weren’t sure who had assaulted them at the beach bonfire but that as many as 20 people were involved.

Haskell’s is at the far western end of Goleta, adjacent to the Bacara resort, now owned by the Ritz-Carlton. The beach is a popular spot for evening fires on the sand. (Large bonfires are illegal throughout the County of Santa Barbara without a permit. “Recreational” fires below the high-tide line are legal but must be smaller than three feet across and two feet tall, said County Fire spokesperson Captain Scott Safechuck.)

Detectives with the Sheriff’s criminal investigation team are treating the incident as an attempted homicide, Morris said, and have been working to identify the suspects. They request that members of the public with information contact the Criminal Investigations Bureau at (805) 681-4150. Tips can be submitted anonymously at and (805) 681-4171.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the legality of bonfires, which are illegal in Santa Barbara County. Small “recreational” fires are allowed below the high-tide line on the beaches.


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