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Deltopia Leads to ‘Civil Unrest’ in IV Streets

Video by Benson Chen

Deltopia violence led to riots in Isla Vista streets tonight after assaults on police and multiple stabbings prompted law enforcement to subdue crowds with tear gas and riot gear.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff spokesperson Kelly Hoover said the “civil unrest” began on the 6700 block of Del Playa Drive at approximately 9:30 p.m. when a UCSB Police Department officer was struck in the head with a backpack containing bottles of alcohol. Hoover said at least five sheriff’s deputies were injured by thrown bottles and bricks and at least two incidents of assault with a deadly weapon were confirmed earlier in the evening.

Law enforcement formed a barricade and dispersed crowds with tear gas and rubber bullets as bottles, bricks and rocks were thrown, car windshields were destroyed and dumpsters and trash cans were moved into the street. Rioters also burned several mattresses, tore down street signs and damaged multiple police vehicles.

A Santa Barbara County Sherriff department officer announced repeatedly that those present were part of an “unlawful assembly” and warned bystanders to go indoors as crowds in the street chanted “fuck the police” and “America.” After police had driven people off of Del Playa and shut down the street to the public, focus shifted to nearby Sabado Tarde Road, Camino Pescadero and Camino Del Sur where similar incidents were occurring.

Hoover said additional officers were brought in from agencies across Santa Barbara and Ventura County, and order was restored after several hours. Over 100 people were arrested throughout the day, including 18 during the unrest, and 44 people were transported to the hospital for injuries, she said.

A student was also hospitalized after being shot in the leg by an officer, according to an eyewitness account, although law enforcement has not confirmed the incident.

Photos by Benjamin Pu


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29 Responses to Deltopia Leads to ‘Civil Unrest’ in IV Streets

  1. RF

    April 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Someone gets stabbed ..the University California Spoiled Brats (UCSB) whine and cry….where were the police?

    Police show up. University California Spoiled Brats (UCSB) say “fuck the police” and throw bricks and bottles.

    Rioting for what? Right to party?

    You have a right to party when it is on YOUR property and YOU are paying the tab for the hospital bills, damages, police paramedic and fire services and after you have done some work to earn it, instead of sucking Mommy and Daddy dry so you can learn about porn and how everyone is so mistreated in this country. Until then you have no “right to party” on someone else’s property.

    Disgusted Taxpayer.

    Disgusted taxpayer.

    • Kenneth

      April 7, 2014 at 11:38 pm

      Your an idiot
      Not all UCSB students were an active part…
      Most were people from out of town….
      The stabbings were of people who do not live in Isla Vista..
      Equal Taxpayer as I work Full Time live in IV and attend school NONE of my tuition comes from mommy or daddy so go eff yourself

    • Bigdumbgod

      April 8, 2014 at 10:52 am

      Well then, please proceed to your nearest church and pray for souls, and return to your trailer and hope your tv bill was paid, that you may continue to be enlightened by Fox News. Tell Mr. Hannity we said Hi!

  2. Michael W. Reilly

    April 7, 2014 at 11:00 am

    In re: http://www.SantaBarbaria.com:

    Markus Sandy, you are correct–what goes around comes around. Or put another way, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” Spend the time at your leisure and read all what I have written to date on my domain. I have agonized nearly forty years for this productive effort. It’s finally coming to a head in an ultimate monetary fruition. And by the way, I don’t have a lawn, so your analysis is really a clueless one.

  3. Markus Sandy

    April 7, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Michael W. Reilly you are officially an old man yelling “get off my lawn!”.

    I remember 1973 at UCSB as well and I recall lots of people making the same comments you are making today.

    What goes around, comes around.

  4. Frank

    April 7, 2014 at 12:31 am

    Oh look at all the idiots recording all the idiots..

  5. Michael W. Reilly

    April 6, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    I have thoroughly read all comments and would now like to add a few words of my own. I have come away from this incident feeling somewhat disgusted with it all. When I was attending UCSB back in 1973, the students had a legitimate purpose for protesting. I wonder seriously if this 20-something generation really cares about the important issues facing our nation and world or merely looking for a comfortable white-collar job. Sadly, this will be true for over 90% of the students who do graduate. My above-mentioned website will take me over five years to compose and finish. UC Santa Barbara was the focus of the embryonic environmental movement in the 70’s and I intend to resurrect that focus once again on a national level in my future work. After reading it, maybe some of the students will then find a just cause to speak out for it in a civilized manner. I hope so.

  6. Kaye

    April 6, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Go out of town to party. Tell the world Distopia is no more. There will be nothing to come to. No one will be here.

  7. Kaye

    April 6, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Go out of town to party with your own friends.Who wants to party with strangers? Just say “Distopia is ended. There will be nothing to come to. Where we are going is secret.”

  8. NotYou2

    April 6, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    This is just pointless stupidity. Drunk or not, this college needs help.

  9. Gary Fouse

    April 6, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Note to UCSB Chancellor; You have a problem on your campus. You need to deal with it.

  10. Alum

    April 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Like most complicated issues, there is no one single reason for why this occurred. Rather, a number of dynamics provided the conditions for a series of events to transpire. Anyone who says it was because of “X” or states something along of the lines of “this proves Y” is an ignorant simpleton.

    1) Let’s distinguish the UCSB/SBCC residents from out-of-town Guests of residents and let’s further distinguish the Guests from the out-of-town Randoms who have no links whatsoever to the residents of IV. In my experience, the Guests tend to get themselves into trouble by committing victimless crimes out of ignorance or stupidity like MIP or urinating in public. They are largely creating a problem for themselves and tend to attend college elsewhere. The Randoms are the ones who typically force themselves into parties and are looking for fights. They tend to not be going to college anywhere and oftentimes come from a different culture that is inconsistent with the UCSB and IV culture. If there is a stabbing or other violence perpetrated beyond your typical fistfight, it almost always involves a Random. They are a major contributor to the problem.

    2) When authorities enact arbitrary rules and enforce them with zero tolerance, it breeds contempt and resentment for law enforcement. For example, ticketing people and threatening them with arrest for playing loud music is seen as oppressive. Installing surveillance cameras throughout IV further (without required permits, btw) speaks volumes to residents about how the police intend to police their lives. This cuts the other way as well, as there were police in the area that don’t typically deal with college kids and were likely under orders to deal with revelers with little or no tolerance. This helped set the stage for what was to come. There is little wonder that people use the coarse phrase “Fuck the police”.

    3) When a large crowd of drunk young men is confronted by police who are starting to exert force, they tend to band together and fight back. The energy in such a crowd and the aggression and confidence that one derives from it should not be underestimated. It takes some maturity from an 18-24 year old to walk away from such a spectacle and not get whipped up into it. Keep in mind that most people were likely unaware that a policeman was seriously assaulted and that police were reacting to this by trying to secure a crime scene which quickly grew out of hand. It likely got to the point where a “rolling” crime scene was under way given the density of the crowd. At that point, streets had to be cleared but many likely viewed this as arbitrary and were more inclined to meet force with defiance. See point #2 above.

    I am sure there are more factors at play and people will debate how much each factor contributed to what occurred. But if someone can sum up what happened in a mere sentence or draw any simple conclusions, they’re not thinking critically about it.

    I hope this will be a valuable learning experience for everyone involved. My hope is that instead of more zero tolerance and lecturing from on high, that people understand that Deltopia has simply jumped the shark. I believe the problem will largely self-correct by fewer students CHOOSING to host parties and that many people will ELECT to not attend Deltopia in the future. After all, the bloom is certainly off the rose now.

    Sadly, though, the refrain of “We should do something” quickly morphs into doing “anything” which doesn’t intelligently address the underlying problems. These “solutions” tend to be arbitrary and punish the collective.

    • Alum

      April 6, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      I meant to add “…thus breeding even more contempt and resentment” from my final sentence.

      • Michael

        April 6, 2014 at 2:23 pm

        I just wanted to comment and thank you for your thoughts. I scrolled down to the comments section hoping to find a post like yours: critical, well-reasoned and reflective in a way that acknowledges shortcomings on all sides and tries to find meaning in an unfortunate set of circumstances.

        I hope the community learns from this occurrence and collectively steps up to prevent future violence. The local government and law enforcement are in a difficult position, and based on prior years I worry that they’ll respond in a way that breeds future resentment and conflict.

        Sad alumnus here, class of 2012

    • Dax

      October 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Hello Alum,

      My colleague and I are working on a documentary about last year’s Deltopia. We have already interviewed two officers of IV Foot Patrol, a UCSB professor, and a member of Associated Students. We share many of the same viewpoints as you and would love it if you had time for an interview sometime next week. We are recent graduates of UCSB and intended to finish our project at the end of last year, but our production was halted by the tragic loss of our fellow students at the end of the year. Please let me know if this is something you are interested in. Thank you.

  11. Community Step Up; Cops Move Out

    April 6, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Since when is an anti-police riot not political? Riots do not issue explicit demands, they do not parade nicely and conform to your definitions of acceptable political behavior. That is the point of a riot. They are implicit, and in the case of last night, cleverly stated: “Stop.” People want them to leave them alone. It’s that simple. Cops provoked this riot, like they do with every riot.

    The problems with the party culture in the community are the community’s problem, and cannot and will not be changed with police or force.

    Furthermore, It’s an open secret that the police in IV for years have racially profiled, instigated, and harassed students every weekend. Everyone hates them. The entire culture of IV comes from the 70’s riots, which gave the community a strong sense of autonomy which goes hand in hand with a hatred of the police.

    Already the central narrative has contradictions: its entitled college students, or its scary, dangerous (read: brown and black) “out-of-towners.” It’s neither: it’s human beings, just like you, who don’t want to be harassed while they enjoy the small amount of free time afforded them in their lives of monotonous labor or debt-burdened schoolwork.

    Your petty moralizing against their behavior is meaningless. They know you didn’t give a shit about them before, so not much has changed.

    MLK said “a riot is the voice of the unheard.” If you can’t hear what they want, you’re not actually listening.

    • christopher hubbard

      April 8, 2014 at 12:27 am

      as an alumnus of UCSB who lived for a year on the 6600 block of del playa and saw many a crowd of people (particularly on halloween and graduation weekend) i can say that i never saw anything like that. i’m glad i didn’t. and with all due respect to you, your attitude is part of the problem. grow up!

      one day in the not too distant future you will be an alumnus, move out and on with your life. i wish you luck. i doubt it will take too long before you look back on your time in SB/IV with fondness. i know i do. nights like last weekend you will likely come to regret. enjoy the days there. particularly the typical afternoons after the fog burns off and the weather is nice enough to go surfing, hiking, jogging, etc. and all the many outdoor activities being there affords you. it truly is a privilege. don’t blow it.

      p.s. most of us, then and now don’t have the foot patrol. there are 10’s of thousands of you and less than a hundred of them. they have a job to do and most of them do it well. the next time you are at sams-to-go and see an officer or two stop in (just like you) to get something to eat or drink, talk to them. they aren’t the enemy. if/when bad things go wrong (break ins, injuries, rapes, people too drunk to stand up straight and in need of assistance after their friends went 3 doors down to the next party) just remember who it is who is there to help. and most of the time per my experience, unless you cop an attitude, they are more than cheerful and considerate. yes they have a job to do. you need not make it more of a challenge than it is.

      christopher hubbard, class of 2002

  12. Jack

    April 6, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Dear Isla Vista, UCSB, Santa Barbara, and Goleta Residents:

    The recent events (i.e., the riots, the rapes, the stabbings, the robberies) in Isla Vista are unacceptable. That is a fact. It is also a fact that they have happened. What we need to do now is look forward and prevent these incidences from happening again. To do this, everyone must take responsibility for their roles.

    Isla Vista Resident and UCSB Students
    Sure, we can blame all of these horrendous events on the so-called “out-of-towners,” but all that accomplishes is shirking our responsibility and providing the space for more events like these to take place.

    We must face the facts that we are responsible for this. The out-of-towners were largely invited by us, the residents and students, directly or indirectly. We, as a student body and members of the community, promote our reputation. We play up the party scene here. We brag to our friends about how great it is via social media. We give our “friends” places to stay, places to eat, places to party. All of these actions invite people to come here. All of these actions tell people that it is “ok” to come here and party and act irresponsibly.

    We are responsible for inviting people to come to Isla Vista, to destroy our home, to incite riots. We must end this cycle. We can no longer continue to place the blame on others or nothing will change. We must step up and show the community, the state, the nation that we care about our home, we care about reputation, we care about our future.

    Events like these do not bode well for any of us, whether we participated or not. UCSB’s reputation is directly linked to the value of our degrees and our futures. I implore all of us to put an end to the madness now. In the future, we need to act responsibly, as college-educated adults. This means thinking about the future consequences of our present actions. We must understand that a bottle thrown today, even by one person, can mean a more difficult future for all of us, past, present, and future UCSB students.

    If you disagree, and do not think that our reputation affects us, ask yourself why you did not attend an online college. If even one of the reasons is because you know or believe you can get a better job or be better prepared after graduating, then you believe our reputation matters. We must fix and protect our reputation.

    We can no longer complain about the video surveillance in Isla Vista and on campus. We earned the right to be watched and taped. We can no longer blame the police for “overstepping” their bounds. We earned the right to have police officers roam the streets and make arrests. The police are simply doing their jobs. They are protecting us from ourselves.

    In the future, we, as a community, need to stop promoting the intensive party image. We need to stop complaining about the people who protect us. We need to stop disrespecting each other and the place we live. We need to take responsibility for ourselves and think about every action and every consequence to those actions. We need to act like college-educated adults.

    Santa Barbara and Goleta Residents
    What you have seen recently in Isla Vista is unacceptable. However, it is not fair, nor correct, to attribute the blame entirely to UCSB and blame the university and Isla Vista community for “wasting your tax dollars and contributing nothing.” This is a very narrow-minded view. First off, many UCSB students and Isla Vista residents work and pay taxes. Secondly, the university provides Santa Barbara with tremendous benefit that cannot be ignored. How many of you attend performances sponsored by the university, how many of you hire interns or workers from the university, how many of you visit the university’s beautiful campus and beaches, how many of you benefit from the steps the university has taken to reduce environmental impact around the world, how many of you benefit from the research the university produces? The answer is all of you, in one way or another, benefit from the university, so calling the university and its students names is not only immature, but disregards your countless benefits from the university and its students.

    Furthermore, it is not fair to blame the university or its entire student body for the events that have taken place. True, the students and residents of Isla Vista are largely to blame and need to take responsibility and fix the current atmosphere. However, not all students participate in the activities that often lead to these events. Many of the students are here to study, to learn, to better ourselves and, most of us care about the place we live in. We care about our reputation.

    In the future, we hope to resolve the issues recently affecting Isla Vista, however, the change will not be overnight and we need your support, not your condemnation, to make Isla Vista the community we all want it to be.

    • Christina

      April 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      I just drove around Isla Vista, Sunday morning. I witnessed half a dozen clusters of local UCSB students walking around, wearing plastic gloves, carrying garbage bags and boxes, picking up garbage by hand. Some of the residents of Isla Vista do take responsibility.

      While I agree with all of the sentiments above, I also believe the reputation is perpetrated not just from the inside, but the outside. Try Playboy Magazine, who decades ago, wrote that I.V. Halloween was one of the top ten parties in the nation. As a local, I attended Halloween for several years prior to that publication. The very next year, the numbers leaped into tens of thousands, and very quickly afterward, scores of new laws were put in place which you now see the effect of today (open container laws, loud music laws, etc.)

      By now the lore is so mythical, people who want to believe in a Utopian party place by the sea, where there are no consequences to limitless raging (kind of like Vegas, where “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas) crowd into the area — uninvited “guests” who are not staying with locals.

      Lawmakers have used increasingly oppressive laws to combat this “reputation” and reduce damage to the environment and medical emergencies that are inevitably the result of such parties. Community members have responded with community outreach, requiring permits, educating locals, closing beaches, and in short are trying everything they can think of. Short of such “oppression,” what would be a more effective way to end the decades-in-the-making, multi-generational reputation that I.V. now has? It is wrong to blame students of today for causing this.

      As a local with family members and many, many friends who have attended UCSB over the past several decades, I speak from experience when I say that – at least the people I know – do not choose to go to UCSB because it has a reputation as a party school. Many choose it because of its location, climate, proximity to the sea, surfing, excellent programs of study, excellent professors, accessibility to family and loved ones.

      I believe strongly that when you end up with multiple stabbings, destruction of property, destruction of cars, multiple arrests, most Isla Vista and Goleta residents, and UCSB students, do NOT want this in their neighborhood. To them, this is not their idea of fun. It is most unwelcome.

  13. Christina

    April 6, 2014 at 10:00 am

    For decades, out-of-towners have crowded into Isla Vista for parties, be it Deltopia, Halloween and etc. The majority of those people are not invited by students. I would like to see accurate statistics of those arrested, wounded and perpetrating crime. How many were local students? I heard reports of many local students locking themselves inside to get away from the rioting.

  14. Truther

    April 6, 2014 at 9:57 am

    85% of students pay property tax thru rent to their landlord. All students pay sales, gas, and income tax.

    • Rose

      April 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      I think you mean students’ mommies and daddies pay rent.

      • Truther

        April 6, 2014 at 6:09 pm

        Sure, of course, but the taxes get paid. Not to mention all the bed tax the parents pay when they come to visit.

        IV is a gusher of money for the County, even after paying for the law enforcement. That is why the County has voted repeatedly *not* to allow IV to have its own City.

        Were IV its own City, the costs would be paid locally, but the revenues would also stay local to IV. The County hates that.

      • Bigdumbgod

        April 7, 2014 at 12:34 pm

        Obviously, you haven’t had the pleasure of paying your own way through school, as well as rent in IV. Not quite the free picnic you spell it out to be.

  15. Jon

    April 6, 2014 at 9:30 am

    The main issue with our generation is that we do not seem to care about any cause enough to riot… This “riot” had no purpose, no reason of being, and was simply created by excess alcohol and the “wish” or “desire” to fight back agains the police, or the controlling force.

    Look around you, people, there are real reasons to be rioting. Causes that our government claims to support, only to appease us, but in reality doesn’t proactively do anything about. There are countless wars that our government has unconstitutionally waged.

    When will people riot over their money, which is being taken from them by force to kill other people? When will people realize that killing those people makes them hate us? Sure, all the Occupy movements had a “cause”, or a “purpose”, but they died out eventually barely making a dent in Wall Street. Why does our generation put up with our government?

    As John Lennon stated so long ago, they “keep you doped with religion, sex and T.V. and you think you’re so clever and classless and free, but your still F***ing peasants as far as I can see”.

    I’m sure those who “rioted” last night felt “free”, but lets not lie to ourselves, they accomplished nothing. When will people become upset enough to really hold our government and bankers and all the other elites responsible? Hopefully soon…

  16. Take a bow IV

    April 6, 2014 at 9:27 am

    The students will undoubtedly try to pin this on out of towners. How they will explain away the fact that they invited those out of towners will be at best a good exercise in denial. Noozhawk reported that 50% of the arrests before the riot were IV residents…Looking forward to the stream of bs on this one.

    Will fusion glass be held responsible for the property damage and added cost to the county? They hosted the fb page with 12k likes. Anyone?

    How about printing the open letter to students next to the pictures off the riot for comparison.

    The students in IV need to learn to take responsibility for their actions. This event isn’t cool, it isn’t safe, it costs the county untold amounts of tax payer money (students do not pay property tax), and people are dying. When will they realize that their actions are an embarrassment to their community, and are a blight on the otherwise impressive record of UCSB?

    • UCSB Student

      April 6, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      While many out of towners were invited by students, there are still some that were not invited by anyone. I was personally asked by three different groups (1-4 people each) for a 06 ace to crash because they didn’t even know anyone in IV this weekend. News reports say that X% of the arrests were IV residents, but after a few days they find out that a lot of those people lie about living here. I live in IV and I told my friends that if they came they could not stay with me because I did not want any more out of towners here. I was not at the ‘riot’, I stayed in and locked my doors. Someone from UCSB/SBCC posted the FB page you referred too, but how many likes were from students I wonder? There are a lot of IV residents that need to take responsibility for this weekend (they probably won’t), but if there were a way to get 100% accurate statistics on arrests etc. I am willing to bet most of the blame can be put on out of towners. As a human being with at least a little common sense/decency, I am ashamed of what happened last night but as a student and resident I know that most of the problem comes from the ‘outside’.

      • UCSB Student

        April 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm

        *place* not 06 ace..

  17. Emma

    April 6, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Well This is embarrassing… Tell me: this riot, was it for a cause? Or just because of the anonymous Defender’s entitlement to party / be a violent drink in a public space?