Another string of fights in Isla Vista resulted in three hospitalizations last weekend.
An ambulance transported an 18-year-old male to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 12:30 a.m. after he suffered a laceration on his head from a fight in front of Freebirds Restaurant on Embarcadero del Norte. The I.V. Foot Patrol received conflicting accounts of who started the fight. Witnesses said a 32-year-old male was fighting five 18 to 20-year-old males and three of the four accounts said the older man appeared to be defending himself and was provoked by the five males. One of the younger men admitted to police that he was under the influence of alcohol. Neither party is pursuing prosecution, officers said.
“The vast majority of the fights are fueled by testosterone and alcohol,” IVFP Lt. Russ Birchim said. “There is really no other way of explaining them.”
A 20-year-old male suffered severe burns on his face after a dispute with one of his roommates at his 6600 block Del Playa Drive Drive apartment on Saturday. The roommate threw a pot of boiling water on the victim’s face, which caused several burn blisters, according to the police report. Birchim said the victim has not filed a formal report because he wants his parents to be with him if he does.
Birchim said there were also two other “typical I.V. assaults” last weekend. The police log recorded a fight in a residential garage on the 1000 block of Camino Pescadero in which one victim had to be transported to the hospital, as well as another fight on the 6500 block of Seville Road.
Birchim said officers try to stop fights before they start, but it is often very difficult to take preventative action.
“You can’t really foresee a fight. [Officers] are able to stop fights before they start usually when people are verbally sparring. But other than that, you really can’t predict a fight,” he said. “First thing they do is stop the fight. They make sure weapons are not involved. The normal scenario is to separate everybody before a serious injury occurs.”