An on-campus residence hall resident was arrested late Tuesday night for assault on a UC Police Dept. officer, possession of marijuana and vandalism.
UCPD officers arrested San Miguel Hall resident Max Kappel, 18, after he had reportedly gone “out of control,” UCPD Officer Mark Signa said. The officers used pepper spray and a Taser to subdue Kappel before he was taken to the hospital and then transported to the Santa Barbara County Jail. He was released on bail Wednesday morning. The UCPD is still investigating the incident, Signa said.
After responding to a call, officers arrived at San Miguel Hall at 10 p.m., where Kappel had allegedly assaulted other residents and was possibly under the influence of narcotics. Witnesses at the scene reported Kappel also vandalized a television on one of the San Miguel Hall floors.
Signa said unidentified noises were coming from Kappel’s room, where he was by himself, but when officers attempted to enter the room, they discovered that the door had been barricaded. The officers resorted to entering Kappel’s first-floor room through the outside window.
Upon entry, Kappel attacked the officers with a guitar, which then prompted officers to use pepper spray and a Taser to subdue him, Signa said. Paramedics examined Kappel on the scene then transported him to a nearby hospital. Later that night, he was taken into custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail, Signa said.
First-year history major Neal Bowman, a San Miguel Hall resident and friend of Kappel, said Kappel’s violent actions were unusual, but not completely unexpected.
“Max is just chill,” Bowman said. “He’s definitely not the kind of kid you’d expect to do that…. He was withdrawing from something.”
Kappel had shown symptoms of a drug addiction in previous incidents, Bowman said.
“He’s been found before in people’s rooms wearing sweaters and wrapped in a blanket just shivering while eating a cookie,” Bowman said.
Bowman said he had found Kappel suffering from paranoia in the morning preceding the incident.
“I talked him down in the morning,” Bowman said. “He was tripping out that people in cars were driving by and looking in the window. He was shivering in his bed.”
Bowman said he later took Kappel to Counseling Services for therapy.
Bowman said he believed Kappel was exhibiting withdrawal symptoms when he became belligerent later that evening. He said Kappel began to pound the walls of a lounge on the seventh floor of San Miguel with a recycling bin and threw a pizza box across the room. Kappel then wrapped paper towel rolls around his fist and began to punch the cabinets in the lounge. His fist put a dent in the microwave and cracked the backside of the lounge TV set, Bowman said.