First Responders Investigate Explosion at Local Restaurant
On March 8, 2022, around 7:00 pm, the Santa Barbara Police Department Combined Communication Center received a report from a Harbor Patrol Officer about an unknown type of explosive device that was ignited inside local restaurant located at in the 100 block of Harbor Way. Police Officers and Fire Department personnel responded to the scene.
During the investigation, and from watching surveillance footage from inside the restaurant, officers learned a male subject walked out of the restroom and threw an unknown object near the kitchen. A bright flash could be observed from the object that was thrown by the subject. Upon further inspection it was learned the item thrown was a flash-bang that is similarly used by trained law enforcement and military personnel to create sound and light diversions.
After the flash-bang detonated, the subject, identified as Eric Carl Strand, a 55-year-old Goleta resident, returned to the table where he was eating. Witnesses were able to identify Strand and pointed him out to officers.
Probable cause was established to arrest Strand. He was taken into custody and transported to Santa Barbara County Jail where he was booked for Maliciously and Recklessly Possessing a Destructive or Explosive Device (felony) and Exploding or Igniting a Destructive Device (felony). Strand’s bail was set at $500,000.
No one reported any injuries during this incident and the motive is unknown at this time. This case is still under investigation.