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Man assaults lone employee in business, intent on sexual assault in Santa Barbara

Marshal Coates, 50
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office
Coates was arrested for assault.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Police arrested a man who entered a business of a lone employee with intent on committing sexual assault on Tuesday night in Santa Barbara.

Police arrested Marshal Anthony Coates, 50, for assault with intent to commit rape, assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injury, second degree burglary, dissuading a victim with force or fear, criminal threats that terrorize, false imprisonment and kidnapping for ransom.

On Tuesday around 6 p.m., Santa Barbara Police Officers and Santa Barbara Fire personnel responded to the vicinity of La Cumbre Plaza to a report of an assault-in-progress at a store within the mall.

According to the investigation, officials found Coates behaving erratically outside the store then entered the business with a lone-employee.

The employee sensed danger and attempted to immediately retreat but Coates, 6'3 ft. and 250 pounds, advanced toward the victim and violently assaulted the employee, unprovoked.

According to officials, the victim was able to escape Coates and exit the store.

The sought help from businesses next door. Bystanders called 911.

Officers arrived and were able to identify Coates in the area with matching the description.

Officers took him into custody without incident.

The victim was medically assisted by Fire personnel and was eventually transported to the hospital.

Officials say the victim and the attacker had no prior relationship.

As part of this active and ongoing investigation, detectives and patrol officers concluded that the suspect entered the store not only to assault the victim but with the intent to commit a sexual assault.

Officials also found evidence that the suspect forcefully prevented the victim from calling for help.

Coates booking was amended to reflect the additional/modified charges.

The investigation is currently ongoing.

The Santa Barbara Police Department has requested the subject be held without the opportunity for bail but online records show his bail amount is set at $1,000,000.

He is booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail.

Police classify Coates as a nomadic wanderer, police do not classify him as a Santa Barbara transient.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Julia Nguyen


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