Man Brandishes Knife on State Street

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On July 28, 2021, around 4:00pm, dispatchers from the Santa Barbara Police Department received several 9-1-1 calls about a male subject brandishing a knife in the area of State Street and Anapamu Street.

It was reported the suspect, Robert J. Tobarro, a 58-year-old transient, was making verbal threats for an unknown reason, towards a family that was visiting from out of town. Tobarro then started following the family as they walked down State Street and approached the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Tobarro started directly making threats towards a young boy in the family. The father of the child began to intervene when Tobarro pulled out from his pocket a fixed blade knife. According to witnesses, Tobarro continually made threats while following the family when bystanders called 9-1-1 to report the incident.

Multiple Officers quickly responded to the area and were able to contact the victims and Tobarro who was detained on scene. Witnesses and the victims reported Tobarro had become verbally aggressive and appeared intoxicated. When the victims attempted to avoid Tobarro, he became agitated and made threats towards the victims with the knife in hand.

Tobarro was placed under arrest after the investigation was completed. Tobarro was booked in Santa Barbara County Jail for, 422 PC – Criminal Threats (felony), 273a PC – Child Endangerment (felony), and 417 PC – Brandishing a Weapon (misdemeanor). He is currently being held on $100,000 bail.

The victims were fortunately not physically harmed during this incident.