University of California Police Dept. detectives arrested a man at Francisco Torres Residence Hall on Wednesday for attempting to extort money from an ex-girlfriend.
Ryan Zeeb, 30, of Los Angeles was arrested Wednesday evening in the FT parking lot and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of extortion and possession of a dangerous weapon. Zeeb had threatened to post video of the victim on the Internet if she did not pay him $2,500. The identity of the victim, a 19-year-old UCSB student and FT resident, is being withheld. Zeeb also threatened to send e-mails and photos to the victim’s parents if she did not pay.
UCPD Assistant Chief Bill Bean would not comment on the nature of the video and photos, nor would he comment on the specifics of the threats Zeeb made against the victim. He said Zeeb and the victim had “a conversation” and that police were expecting Zeeb to arrive at FT.
“We were waiting for him,” Bean said.
The dangerous weapon charge is for a dagger with a five-inch blade found in Zeeb’s car when he was arrested. The weapon is illegal because the blade is sharpened on both sides.
Bean said Zeeb never threatened the victim with a weapon.
Investigators executed a search warrant at Zeeb’s residence in Los Angeles and found the video and photos in question.
Bean said the investigation is continuing and new charges could still be brought against Zeeb.