Slade Morgan Giles, 23, a former Associated Students representative and A.S. presidential candidate, was arrested yesterday for the possession of bomb-making materials and the possession of a controlled substance for sale, while being investigated in the alleged rape of a 19-year-old UCSB student.
Wednesday at 7 a.m., detectives from the Santa Barbara County Major Crimes Unit unexpectedly discovered a pipe bomb at Giles’ 6757 Del Playa Road residence, while serving a search warrant for an ongoing rape investigation. Upon discovery of the explosive – a pipe bomb – detectives immediately evacuated the apartment, four other apartments in the complex and an adjacent apartment building. Giles, the suspect and focus of the rape investigation, was also in possession of a controlled substance, Psilocybin (hallucinogenic mushrooms), for sale at the time of the search.
The explosive device was discovered in the suspect’s closet by detectives while they conducted a warranted search for evidence relating to an alleged rape on Dec. 2, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept. Public Information Officer Mike Burridge.
“A search warrant was served to 6757 Del Playa apartment
E at about 7 a.m. this morning,” he said. “At this time detectives discovered a box in the closet containing a 8 by 10 inch metal device filled with gun powder equipped with end caps – resembling a pipe bomb. The sheriffs then called the bomb squad immediately.”
Burrige said the pipe bomb was detonated while still in the apartment. The device was first surrounded by sandbags before the bomb squad rendered it safe by using a water cannon. The cannon projects water from what resembles a shotgun barrel mounted on a tripod.
Giles is currently being held in the county jail and has admitted to the possession of the explosive material, but has yet to be formally charged in the ongoing rape investigation.
Matt McMillan, an A.S. off-campus representative and friend of Giles, said he would support his friend until proven guilty of the crimes.
“I don’t believe he is capable of doing any of these alleged acts. Campus safety was a high priority for him if he got elected, he was very sincere in that. He was very sincere in all of his campaign promises, that is why this comes as such a shock to me,” he said. ” I stand by him until the evidence is overwhelming, and convincing beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty of these offenses.”
Valerie Sweatt, property manager of Giles’ apartment, said she received information regarding the incident from a property maintenance worker, not from the Sheriff’s Dept.
Residents of the DP apartment complex and adjacent properties were evacuated around 8 a.m. and remained on the street until around noon, according to sophomore sociology major Jeremy Sugarman.
“They said we should get everything we needed and that we would be out for a couple of hours,” he said.
Giles was a resident assistant at the San Nicolas residence hall his sophomore year, but was asked to leave before the year was through. A student on Giles’ floor said he was popular with residents and “an honest and good guy.” Desk attendant and Co-President of the hall student government Erin Tracy said she remembered Giles as a misogynist.
“Just the way he treated the female residents was absolutely appalling,” she said. “As a desk attendant there, one of the things I remember about Slade is that as we would sit there at the desk … as women would walk in the door, he would try and guess their bra sizes. That was the kind of person I remember him as – absolutely infatuated with sex and women.”
Senior film and Chicano studies major Mel Fabi was co-president of San Nicolas with Tracy and worked with Giles for three years in Associated Students. Fabi said when the popular Giles left partway through the year, students fought for his return.
“He was really well liked,” Fabi said. “I do remember that he left early that year and Housing and Residential Services kept it a secret as to why they fired him. There was a whole student movement to find out why, but Housing and Residential Services never revealed why.
“This news shocks me,” Fabi said. “Right now my concern is with the woman that reported this. I know it takes a lot of strength and courage to report something like this.”
Stu Davis, a senior mechanical engineering major, lived on Giles’ floor.
“He was real cool,” Davis said. “He was the one RA you could talk to and you could trust him. … He treated the women on our floor just like everyone else.”
Giles ran for A.S. president three times. Campaign posters called him “Super Slade” and he ran on a platform of “increasing campus safety and visible safety phones, fighting for student parking and working to better student/police relations.”
Giles was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of 12312 PC (possession of bomb-making materials) and 11378 H&S (possession of a controlled substance for sale). Giles is being held on $20,000 bail and is under investigation for the alleged Dec. 2 rape.
Related: Santa Barbara Sheriff website