Associated Students President Miguel Lopez helped calm a knife-wielding friend after a confrontation outside a party on the 6600 block of Abrego Road last Saturday before running to call police.
Lopez, who was attending the party, said he chased after his friend Jessica Gomez, a 19-year-old UCSB student, who had earlier carried out a shouting match with a woman only identified as “Loren” by police. Lopez said he headed after her to make sure everything was okay because he heard a “big commotion.”
According to police, Gomez left the scene of the initial shouting match with three friends in a car, but then returned after picking up two knives, an 8-inch butter knife and a 4-inch steak knife.
She exited the car and ran up the driveway of another apartment complex on the 6600 block of Abrego, apparently looking for Loren. It was in the driveway that Lopez contacted her.
“It was all happening so fast,” Lopez said. “I was trying to calm her down, trying to talk her through it. I tried to make eye contact with her and not look at the knife.”
Lopez said that despite his efforts, Gomez was still very angry and agitated, which was exacerbated by her intoxication.
“She was swinging the knife, so I ran and called the police,” Lopez said.
Isla Vista Foot Patrol officers arrived and detained Gomez and the three other women who were in the car. Officers recovered one of the knives near the bushes in the apartment complex, and the other knife on the floorboard beneath the seat she was occupying in her friend’s car.
All three women independently identified Gomez’s first name as Jessica, while Gomez told police her name was Jennifer. Police say she broke down and cried following an interview with officers, at which time she admitted to lying about her name and birth date because she had never been in trouble before.
She was arrested for brandishing a weapon and presenting false information to a police officer after Lopez signed a citizen’s arrest form.
Gomez told police she was “really upset” after being punched in the face by Loren following an exchange of insults at the party. Gomez said she was punched through an open window as she sat in the back of her friend’s car.
Denise Aceves, A.S. internal vice president, who was at the party but did not witness the confrontation between Gomez and Loren, said she interacted with Gomez prior to the incident.
“She was really intoxicated,” Aceves said. “[The confrontation] was over something just so trivial.”
When asked by police why she took the knives, Gomez said she was “really, really mad,” but did not know what she would do with them.
Lopez said that even though he and Gomez are friends, he did not hesitate to sign the citizen’s arrest form.
“At that point, other people’s safety was endangered,” Lopez said. “The police said that they have the right to shoot someone who comes after them with a knife. If they didn’t get there in time, she could have stabbed somebody.”
Gomez, reached by cell phone, declined to comment.