Community Members Help Santa Barbara Police Apprehend Reckless Driver
On July 14, 2021, around 0930am, a Santa Barbara Police Officer was on patrol in the area of Cabrillo Blvd. and Stearns Wharf when he was flagged-down by a community member regarding a subject trying to instigate numerous physical altercations in the area of the Wharf. The Officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop of the subject who was driving a vehicle. The suspect fled west on Cabrillo Blvd in their vehicle, away from the Officer. The Officer lost sight of the vehicle and responding police units set up a perimeter in the Natoma Avenue neighborhood. The suspect vehicle was located several minutes later, but the suspect had abandoned the car in an alleyway off East Mason Street.
Community members informed Officers the suspect driver fled on foot in the neighborhood. During the investigation, Officers learned the suspect nearly struck a family on bicycles in the area of West Cabrillo Blvd and ran a red light in the area.
An extensive search ensued to locate the suspect. A homeowner in the 200 block of Bath Street contacted police dispatch to report a suspicious male prowling and loitering near their garage. This description matched that of the suspect.
Officers were able to locate the suspect in the 200 block of Bath Street. He was identified as Jose Luis Hernandez, 27-year old, Santa Barbara resident. Hernandez was placed under arrest for 2800.2 VC – Evading an Officer in a Vehicle with Willful Disregard (felony), 12500(A) VC – Driving without a License (misdemeanor), 23103 VC – Reckless Driving (misdemeanor), and 148 PC – Obstructing an Officer (misdemeanor). Hernandez was booked in Santa Barbara County Jail. Bail is set at $75,000.