UPDATE 6/25: UCSB student Tomas Deleveau was arrested March 9, 2014 for alleged battery of a police officer but was not convicted. A decision not to file an accusatory pleading of Deleveau was made by the Santa Barbara County District on April 8, 2014. Thus the taking into custody of Deleveau on March 9 was a detention only, and not an arrest.
UPDATE 4/10: Although Otis Dezjuan Washington identified himself as such, he is currently not enrolled as a UCSB student as initially reported in the press release.
Last night, a stabbing occurred on the 6600 block of Del Playa Drive at approximately 10:45 p.m., after which a large crowd surrounded the police officers who were investigating the scene and grew to become an “unlawful assembly,” resulting in the arrest of two UCSB students.
The victim of the stabbing was a 20–year-old non-resident from Rhode Island, who was in Isla Vista visiting his brother, according to a press release from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. The perpetrator was Lompoc resident 18-year-old Kuriyan Summers-Dickinson, and the incident occurred after a fight broke out at the residence. The victim is currently in a stable condition at a local hospital, and Summers-Dickinson was arrested and charged with attempted murder, according to the press release.
Following the stabbing, a large crowd accumulated around the deputies who were attending to the incident, and Isla Vista resident Otis Dezjuan Washington was found jumping on top of vehicles and arrested for “vehicle tampering and resisting arrest.” As police arrested Washington, more people crowded around the deputies and “began chanting and throwing bottles,” according to the press release, eventually resulting in an unlawful assembly with an estimated one thousand people. Law enforcement pushed back the crowd, using pepper spray and batons on those who refused to leave, resulting in the arrest of UCSB student Tomas Delaveau for battery on a peace officer.
Public Information Specialist for the SB County Sheriff’s Office Kelly Hoover maintained that the crowd would not be considered a riot, but that it risked becoming one.
“It was an unlawful assembly which could have turned into a riot,” Hoover said.
Hoover said the crowd assembled as a result of being intrigued by Washington’s arrrest, and began shouting things like “Let him go,” and “Fuck the police.”
“I believe they just saw that someone was being arrested, and they gathered around the deputies who were making the arrested and the handcuffed student,” Hoover said. “I think when it started out it was a couple hundred people, and then as they saw there was something happening more and more people gathered.”
Hoover expressed frustration with the behavior of the crowd, saying the crowd restricted the law enforcement’s ability to keep the area safe.
“It’s disappointing that when law enforcement is out there trying to keep people safe, to have individuals who are making that effort more difficult and being disrespectful to our law enforcement,” Hoover said.
A fourth-year resident of the 6600 block of Del Playa who requested to remain anonymous said she was disappointed with the crowd’s response to the police, given their role in keeping the community safe.
“It is completely disrespectful and shameful for the crowd to have yelled such insults to our police officers, the ones who are working to control crimes such as the horrific rape that occurred this month. I’d like to feel safe in my community,” she said.
Photos Courtesy of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
This story appeared as an online exclusive on Sunday, March 9, 2014.