Correction: Back seat passenger, Trevor Lentz, was not arrested by police as originally reported, but rather momentarily detained for questioning and then released. The Nexus regrets this error.
Ninety-eight arrests and 174 citations later, a Halloween horde of students, residents and out-of-town revelers trampled through Isla Vista this weekend in numbers estimated between 40,000 and 50,000.
Twenty-five of those arrested or cited were UCSB students.
Citation recipients and those who woke up Saturday or Sunday morning in Santa Barbara County Jail also included students from UC Davis, UCLA, UCI, the University of Southern California, Stanford University, Santa Barbara City College, Arizona State University and over a dozen other California state schools and community colleges, according to Isla Vista Foot Patrol weekend log statistics.
While the first storm of the season hit southern Santa Barbara County on Friday afternoon, scattered showers did little to deter partiers inbound to Isla Vista, although they did have to brave a rain-slicked, accident-ridden Highway 101 and a parking nightmare once they arrived.
“I’ve never seen that many people in I.V. or on [Del Playa Drive],” said UCPD Corporal Molitor, who has worked Halloween nights in Isla Vista for the last nine years. “In particular areas, crowds on DP were getting bottlenecked and people were getting stepped on or trampled.”
Although in some areas people packed DP from curb to curb and police needed to pull some people who were in trouble out of the crowd, Molitor said no one was seriously hurt.
“There were a lot more people who we could have cited or arrested, but because of the crowds, safety came first,” Molitor said.
Numerous parked cars throughout I.V. sustained some form of damage as a result of heavy foot traffic around them, and in some cases, on top of them. Molitor said he saw six or seven cars with caved in roofs and hoods. Partygoers had jumped on top of the cars to get out of the crowds. Many rear view mirrors had also been knocked off or damaged by pulsing masses of people.
“There was no room on DP,” Molitor said.
Shortly before 11 p.m., a man fell from a cliff on the 6700 block of DP. Police did not know the circumstances of his plummet as of Sunday afternoon, but the unidentified man, who was located by a search and rescue team stationed in Isla Vista for the night, survived with minor injuries.
In Friday night’s most serious incident, a driver being questioned by police after being told to turn down his car stereo on the 6600 block of DP sped away from detaining officers with three other occupants shortly after midnight. The car swerved toward a police officer on DP who had his weapon drawn and pointed at the careening vehicle before jumping out of its way.
The car, a silver Ford Focus, sped eastbound on DP, made a left onto northbound Camino Pescadero, then a right onto eastbound Sabado Tarde Road. The driver then made a left at Embarcadero, then another left onto Embarcadero Del Norte where he lost control of the car and crashed into a stop sign at the corner of Embarcadero Del Norte and Seville Road.
The driver, later identified by friends as 18-year-old Petri Gordon, fled the scene on foot, while passengers, Robert Duckworth, 20, and Michael Van De Vort, 21, remained in the vehicle and were arrested.
Back seat passenger, Trevor Lentz, 22, was momentarily detained for questioning and then released.
All three passengers told police they feared for their lives and frantically yelled for Gordon to stop the car and let them out, but the car’s speed – 50 to 60 miles per hour – made it impossible for them to escape without serious injury.
Duckworth told police that at first contact with the foot patrol officers, Gordon appeared very nervous and that when Gordon fled, he said, “fuck this shit, fuck those motherfuckers, you know I don’t have a license.”
Duckworth reported that when he saw the officer with his gun drawn and pointed at the car, he believed his life was in danger. He heard Gordon shout, “fuck, fuck, I’m going to hit this motherfucker,” and felt the car accelerate.
Van De Vort also told police he repeatedly yelled for Gordon to stop and that if there were people in the way, he was afraid Gordon would have killed them.
Police describe Gordon, who was identified by the woman who let him borrow her car, as a black male about 5 feet 5 inches tall and 120 pounds with blue eyes. He is wanted for the attempted murder of a police officer.
In the Isla Vista Foot Patrol office on Pardall Road on Sunday, several people came to check the lost and found for cell phones and wallets that went missing in DP crowds, file automobile vandalism reports and to inquire about confiscated Halloween costume props.
Officers built a collection of around 50 canes, bats, ski poles, plastic devil pitchforks and golf clubs – anything that could be used as a weapon. Several of the most unusual items confiscated included a metal garden hoe, an 8-foot supportive tree stake, an oar and a real sword used for martial arts.
Officers said confiscated items could be picked up today.