SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A suspect accused of two assaults and causing a disturbance at multiple locations, physically struggled with Santa Barbara police on Wednesday evening after he was caught in downtown.
He denied he was resisting during the incident.
The name of the man involved has not been released amid the ongoing investigation.
On Wednesday at around 7:30 p.m., police started receiving multiple reports of a suspect reportedly assaulting a worker at the Savoy Restaurant on West Figueroa Street in Santa Barbara.
A witness also said dining furniture was being tossed onto the street where traffic was flowing.
Minutes later police were told the same suspect was again throwing outside chairs and a table into the street from the newly built parklet at the Los Arroyos restaurant also on Figueroa Street a few addresses away.
Owner Tony Arroyo intervened, "I tried to ask 'why?' and he just called me F-ing racist and a p***y," said Arroyo. "I called the cops right away."
Arroyo trailed the suspect to State Street.
A half a block up State, another conflict took place.
Drew Cuddy of the Satellite wine bar and restaurant said, "I heard one of my team members call rather frantically so I went out. He (the suspect) was engaged with one of our guests in a pretty inappropriate way."
Cuddy immediately called the police, and, "He came and tried to hit me." Cuddy says he blocked the punch.
In his description of the incident, Cuddy pointed to the left side of his face where the punch was directed.
"I think he was pretty heavily inebriated and not in his right mind," said Cuddy. "As the owner of the restaurant I have to be there and ready for anything."
Cuddy says he was on the phone with police as the encounter was taking place and told the dispatcher, "I was just assaulted."
Multiple police units came into the area with lights and sirens on.
At the intersection of Anapamu and State Street they found the suspect, detained him and put him in handcuffs.
Both Arroyo and Cuddy came to the scene to make a positive identification and give witness statements.
As police were putting the man into a patrol vehicle he yelled, "No! It's not going to happen." He pushed back from the vehicle with three officers attempting to get him inside.
At one point the suspect got his right foot to the top of the door jam and braced himself from going in. "Look at them. I'm not doing nothing," he shouted. "I'm not going in. You tell me why you are arresting me."
One of the reported victims nearby then yelled back, "Because you tried to hit me in the face."
Sergeant Andy Feller paused the situation and requested a face mask for the suspect due to COVID-19 concerns. That was rejected by the man who said, "I'm not doing that. I'll take the charges. You don't have to put anything on my face. I didn't do nothing."
Sergeant Eric Beecher was also on the scene along with four other police officers responding to this call.
During the arrest, a bystander video recording with a phone called out to an officer saying, "You're a racist prick, that's what you are."
A crowd of bystanders witnessed the incident but did not impede the officers.
More information is expected to be released when the police report is completed and if charges are recommended the case will be submitted to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.