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Riot Review Riles County Leaders, Residents and Sheriff

By John Palminteri, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Senior Reporter, johnp1250@aol.com
Published On: Apr 08 2014 04:46:59 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 09 2014 03:54:34 PM CDT

SBCO Sheriff Bill Brown held a briefing for the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors detailing the Deltopia event in Isla Vista as well as the riot that subsequently broke out.

KEYT NewsChannel 3 Senior Reporter John Palminteri was caught in the middle of the all the riot mayhem, with tear gas and foam projectiles flying within feet of him.

ISLA VISTA, Calif -

A review of the weekend Isla Vista riot has painted an even more explosive picture than what's been revealed so far.   Sheriff Bill Brown brought new evidence of chaos and destruction to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning.

"It is a tinderbox environment," Brown said. "It's a mob mentality fueled by alcohol."

Saturday crowd estimates were first set at 15,000.  On Tuesday, Sheriff Brown said photos and other calculations show the crowd at 25,000 and spread over several streets in an area of mainly college students.

Over the course of the entire Saturday Deltopia event and riot, 130 arrests were made, 190 citations written, and several other offenses reported ranging from drunk in public violations to two overcrowded balcony incidents.  Last year a balcony collapsed resulting in several injuries. 

District Attorney Joyce Dudley said her office is still expecting all the case files and court appearances for arraignments will be scheduled.

Six deputies and officers assigned to the event were injured.  They were  part of a force of over 150.    106 officers from other agencies were called in about 9:30 p.m. when the swelling crowd erupted.

That's also when a 17-year old from Los Angeles allegedly swung a bag of alcohol bottles at the face of a UC Santa Barbara officer during a pursuit. The bottles caused a serious head wound to the officer that required 20 stitches.  Desmond Lous Edwards was arrested at the scene.  The teen appeared in court Tuesday afternoon to face charges including mayhem and assault on a police officer.  Edwards was charged as an adult.

Other officers were hit with cinder blocks, bricks, and bottles.

Numerous orders on loud speakers were made by deputies to "clear the streets" because the incident was an unlawful assembly.   Those messages were repeated often.  Loud sirens also alerted those in the street to the presence of law enforcement, many wearing riot gear.

Those at the front of the packs of people who remained, at times, had their hands in the air.  Others chanted obscenities at the officers, then pulled their pants down to show their bare back sides to the law enforcement.

Sheriff Brown says video of a young person throwing a rock through a van window is being closely reviewed to identify the suspect.  He said that person was "number one on our list."  Newschannel 3 will have a close up  of that person's image on the morning news Wednesday.

Several stop signs were removed in the riot.  Some were replaced Sunday for traffic safety purposes.  The Public Works Department says those signs were then stolen. Permanent signs were installed Monday.

There has also been an outcry for more involvement from UC Santa Barbara officials.  No one from the school spoke during the discussion at the Supervisors meeting.

Some students have told county leaders they want to be part of the meetings to discuss what happened and how to prevent another riot.  They are also calling for a Civil Grand Jury investigation, but that generally takes months to complete. 

Andy Caldwell from the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business (COLAB) called the university response "pathetic."   He claimed, "the students took more responsibility than the administration."

He also warned, "this could have resulted in deaths."

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