A 19-year-old former UCSB student who has threatened police with violence and recently purchased a shotgun is now in custody, but police said he may be released soon.
The University of California Police Dept. arrested Isla Vista resident Samuel Louis Strelitz for unlawfully entering the campus April 4. Strelitz was dismissed from UCSB on March 26 and barred from all university property for acts that “disrupted the orderly operation of the campus,” said UCPD Captain Bill Bean. He was taken to the Santa Barbara County Jail where he remains in custody.
Police also charged him with resisting arrest and making criminal threats to police officers.
“He resisted arrest and wouldn’t follow the orders of the officers,” Bean said. “He had to be physically restrained in order to be handcuffed.”
The arresting officers found the recent receipt for a shotgun that was on a 10-day hold pending clearance by the Dept. of Justice. Bean said Strelitz indicated that he might use the shotgun on police officers.
“In several of our contacts he’s mentioned that he’d like to act as a police officer to either investigate police officers or the university. In those contacts he has also asked questions regarding how he can arm himself, he has attempted to touch officers’ weapons, and he has encouraged them to strike him or spray him with pepper spray,” Bean said. “He has made statements to the effect that if he were to witness an officer doing something that in his mind constituted a criminal act that he would have to take action and that may involve shooting a criminal officer.”
Strelitz’s dismissal in March was based on his behavior towards administration officials, said two sources close to Strelitz who wished to remain anonymous. Associate Dean of Students Joseph Navarro, who led Strelitz’s dismissal hearing, declined to give details regarding his dismissal but offered a general definition of actions that “disrupt the orderly operation of the campus.”
“Whenever you cause a scene, make a loud noise, screaming and yelling, threatening – all those things would disrupt the orderly operation of the campus,” he said.
The anonymous sources said Strelitz was upset that Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael Young was not present at his dismissal hearing and called it “a sham of a hearing.” Young defended his absence as part of university policy.
“I normally and regularly do not attend hearings; that is not my role,” he said. “The conduct system is a body that is charged by the campus to hear allegations of violations of our rules, both academic and nonacademic, and they make recommendations to me based on what they’ve determined, so it’s not appropriate for me to attend.”
On the day of his arrest, Strelitz informed both the police and Dean of Students Yonnie Harris of his plans to enter campus.
“He had called ahead to the dean of students and he was advised not to come onto the university,” Bean said. “He then stopped by the I.V. Foot Patrol office and said he would go onto the university and again he was advised not to. By the time he got to campus we had already called out units to apprehend him.”
The anonymous sources said Strelitz received a traffic violation on March 1 for riding an unregistered bike on campus and when contesting the ticket in court he managed to obtain a blank, signed and stamped subpoena from the court clerk. According to the sources, Strelitz made color photocopies of the subpoena and intended to give one to Navarro on the day of his arrest.
“I think he had a valid grievance wanting to see [Navarro], but the aggressive manner in which he went about doing it is what got him in more trouble,” one of the anonymous sources said.
Strelitz told the sources that the I.V. Foot Patrol “is nothing more than a group of heavily armed thugs” and that officers were “raping and murdering our women.”
Strelitz also had a collection of smaller weapons, none of which were firearms, in his residence. Following his arrest, Strelitz’s roommates called the I.V. Foot Patrol to report the weapons.
“There were no guns, but there was a samurai sword, some knives, and things to that extent,” Bean said. “[His roommates] were very concerned about his behavior and statements he had made regarding the use of those weapons and wanted the weapons turned over for safe keeping.”
Bean said if Strelitz receives bail, anyone who sees him on UCSB property should call the police at 893-3446.