Officers Injured While Arresting Prowler

Authored on
March 2, 2022

On March 3, 2022, around 1:00 am, the Santa Barbara Police Department’s Combined Communication Center received a report from a homeowner in the 3000 block of Calle Noguera about a suspicious subject prowling on the rear patio of their home.

The homeowner awoke to unusual noises in their backyard and observed a male dressed in all dark clothing lurking around their home. The homeowner called 9-1-1 to report the incident and multiple officers responded. One officer observed a subject matching the description of the prowler in the area. When the officer attempted to detain the subject, the subject fled on foot. One officer gave chase to the fleeing suspect, later identified as 40-year-old transient Justin Howze Juniel, who ran towards State Street.

Officers converged on Juniel around State Street and Calle Crespis. The officer involved in the foot pursuit gave multiple verbal commands, however Juniel failed to comply and continued fleeing. When Officers were able to catch up to him, he started to physically fight the officers. Officers utilized control holds to take custody of Juniel.

During the investigation, another resident informed police that Juniel had attempted to gain access into their home by trying to open a rear door. The investigation resulted in probable cause to arrest Juniel for Prowling.

While Juniel was fighting with Officers, one of them was seriously injured and was taken to Cottage Hospital Emergency Room for treatment. The officer suffered a broken hand while trying to take Juniel into custody. The officer is currently on medical leave. Another officer sustained abrasions to their knees and was able to return to duty.

Juniel sustained a minor injury and was treated by paramedics on scene. He was booked in the Santa Barbara County Jail for Prowling (misdemeanor) and Resisting a Police Officer by Force (felony). Juniel also had an outstanding felony arrest warrant. His bail is set at $100,000.