Suspect sought in home invasion robbery

The suspect in an early morning home invasion robbery Saturday in Lompoc is being sought by Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies.

At approximately 5 a.m., an unknown suspect rang the doorbell at a residence in the Lasalle Canyon Road area.

The 65-year-old victim, who was home alone, went to the front door, but could not see the suspect through the peephole. The suspect stated he was with the Sheriff’s Office and needed to speak to the victim, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

The victim opened the front door and was attacked by the suspect, she said. The suspect struck the victim multiple times with a pistol and what the victim described as a “night stick.” The victim attempted to fight back, but was overwhelmed by the suspect and forced into his bedroom. The suspect demanded money and guns and said he would harm the victim’s family if his needs were not met.

The victim gave the suspect the money he had in his pants pocket, Hoover said, adding the suspect then bound the victim’s hands behind his back with duct tape and left the room. The victim freed himself from the duct tape, retrieved a baseball bat and struck the suspect when he returned to the bedroom. The suspect took the bat from the victim and continued to beat him with it, before leaving through the front door.

The victim suffered extensive injuries, including facial lacerations and a fractured skull, Hoover said. Despite his injuries, he was able to drive to friend’s house nearby for help. The friend then drove the victim to the hospital and called 911. The victim is hospitalized but expected to survive his injuries.

Sheriff’s deputies, who were notified at 5:45 a.m., describe the suspect as a light-skinned Hispanic male adult, approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall with a heavy build. He was wearing dark clothing.

It is unknown why the victim or his particular residence was targeted.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office by calling the non-emergency dispatch number at 805-683-2724. For anonymous tips, call 805-681-4171 or visit https://www.sbsheriff.org/home/anonymous-tip/.

Santa Barbara County

Inmate dies while in County Jail custody

An inmate has died while in Santa Barbara County Jail custody.

Just before 8 p.m. Jan. 5, Jose A. Curiel, 52, of Santa Maria, was transported from the jail to a local hospital due to a medical condition, according to county sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover. Curiel was hospitalized and treated for an ongoing medical condition. 

At approximately 7 p.m. Thursday, Curiel died from complications of his existing medical condition, Hoover said. 

Curiel was originally booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on Feb. 20, 2018, for domestic violence, criminal threats to terrorize and stalking offenses, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was also booked on two outstanding warrants. 

Curiel's next of kin was by his side at the time of his death, Hoover added.

Santa Maria 

Library to offer free screening of 'Jumanji' on Monday

The Santa Maria Public Library will screen the 2017 movie “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” rated PG-13, at 5 p.m. Monday.

The screening — which will take place in Shepard Hall — is free and no tickets are required.

In the movie, four teenagers discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game’s jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose.

Seating is limited and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Freshly popped popcorn will also be served free of charge.

The library is located at 421 S. McClelland St.

For more information, contact the library’s Information Desk at 805-925-0994, ext. 8562.

Santa Maria

AAUW plans presentation on Hancock Promise

The Santa Maria branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will hold a presentation on Thursday about the Hancock Promise, a free tuition program to Hancock College for local graduating high school students.

The AAUW — which advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy  and research — will hold the free presentation at 6:30 p.m. at the AHC Rabobank Student Center in Room 106A, 1100 S. Bradley Road in Santa Maria.

A Hancock College representative will be at the meeting, and a question and answer session will be held following the presentation. Light refreshments will be served.

Those interested in making a reservation for the presentation are asked to contact Barbara at 805-934-1223 or barbaraj1223@comcast.net by Tuesday.

Subscribe to Breaking News

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

-- Staff reports