Isla Vista block party turns into riot

April 7, 2014

DeltopiaAn annual Isla Vista street party turned violent Saturday night, resulting in injuries to several officers and more than 100 arrests. [KSBY]

More than 15,000 people attended Deltopia Saturday, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. The annual event is a street party located on Del Playa Drive in Isla Vista. It morphed into its current form from an annual beach party that the sheriff’s office shut down five years ago.

Around 9:30 p.m., a reveler hit a UCSB police officer in the head with a backpack full of alcohol bottles. Members of the crowd then started throwing rocks, bricks and bottles at other officers in the area. Partiers also ripped stop signs out of the ground and set small fires.

Law enforcement agencies from across Santa Barbara and Ventura counties then responded with backup for the sheriff’s deputies. Officers used tear gas and other riot control measures to disperse the crowds.

Approximately 26 people ended up in the hospital as a result of the riot, and 18 were arrested. In total, law enforcement made more than 100 arrests during the daylong party, and 44 people went to the hospital.


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Well, since CCN doesn’t seem to follow up on anything, here are some recent facts:

130 arrested and 190 cited (320 total)

16 (5%) were UCSB students

10 were SBCC students

36 were students from other school

The 17-year-old that clocked the police officer was from LA

Next year let them use the beach, put up an “Enter at own risk” sign, let them do whatever they want. No police, no fire, no rescue. Clean it up the next day. It would be a lot cheaper and easier on that neighborhood.

I mostly agree, although (for liability purposes) if someone gets hurt, they’re going to sue, no matter what. Perhaps a better approach is to treat it “medically” (isn’t alcoholism a disease?) and have “flop” areas (cots) available, medical personnel/ambulances standing by, and a “quarantine”/drunk-tank area for anyone who gets violent/out-of-control – pull them aside quietly and with as little “to do” as possible and let them sleep it off. No cracking of heads necessary. Take the humane approach.

Why should we coddle them? They’re supposed to be “adults” aren’t they? Trying to brain a policeman with a backpack full of bottles because he was trying to break up your “party”? He’s lucky some other policeman didn’t blow his head off!

If the kiddies are adults, as you say, then why are public resources being used to have the police babysit them? Time to acknowledge that the public school system does not produce responsible adults, but rather arrested-development juveniles perpetually acting out their defiance of “authority.” Wisdom says remove the “authorities” from the volatile situation, as you yourself suggested, and there is no longer anything for the kiddies to rebel against.

Blow the kid’s head off when, for all you know, the police officer (or a comrade) may have provoked the entire situation? Be careful what you ask for. You, or someone you care for, could be in the crosshairs next.

Oh, I’m sure the police (Comrade, really?) “provoked” someone into attacking with a bag of bottles, and if you re-read my comment, I did not ask for the police to blow his head off, just that it might happen, in the real world, police get a bit touchy about rioters attacking other police. It really would have been a good idea to have it on the beach though, I don’t know what the property damage was, but I’m sure it would have been less on the beach.

WHAT IF the County of SB had not closed the beaches? WHAT IF the County of SB and UCSB had spent money not on huge amounts of law enforcement, mutual aid and video cameras but on medical aid stations, porta-crappers and garbage cans?

Not only would it have saved a lot of trouble, it would have saved a lot of taxpayer money. At some point local law enforcement is going to have to stop acting like wannabe para-military stooges. They’re going to have to learn how to actually P O L I C E! It’s a lot more difficult than tossing flash-bang grenades from an APC but it’s what the community needs.

Whoops, I thought I was agreeing with YOU (when I accidentally responded to “Shelworth,” who is about as unreasonably and unaccountably hostile and aggressive as the kiddies). Thank you for your astute comments on the state of the police state. When will we start treating people like friends and neighbors again? Golden Rule anyone? (sigh)

If any media outlets printed the actual course of events, perhaps peope would see it differently. The police did everything necessary to ensure that a gathering of 15,000 people would turn into a riot. In fact, I submit that ANY gathering of 15,000 people, regardless of who they are, CAN be turned into a riot (especially if there is alcohol involved) pretty easily.

Keep in mind that the rioting did not occur BEFORE the police declared an unlawful assembly. It was the behavior of law enforcement that led 18 people to try and intervene in an arrest, after which law enforcement attempted to arrest the 18 people… some scuffle occurred and people saw the police forcing people to submit, which did not sit well with them. And then the police declared an unlawful assembly, with 15,000 drunk people who had no way out, and many had no place to go What did they expect?


Your defense of these drunks that have no respect for the local neighborhood, its residents, local laws, etc…has no merit.

1) You said: “I submit that ANY gathering of 15,000 people, regardless of who they are, CAN be turned into a riot (especially if there is alcohol involved) pretty easily.”

~I’ve attended more than 200 live concerts in my life…many of them had crowds of well more than 15,000. Not a single riot. Not ONE.

2) “Keep in mind that the rioting did not occur BEFORE the police declared an unlawful assembly.”

~Irrelevant. Fact of the matter is…they broke the law(s).

3) “…that led 18 people to try and intervene in an arrest, after which law enforcement attempted to arrest the 18 people”.

~So you admit to their obstruction, which led to their appropriate arrests.

4) “…people saw the police forcing people to submit, which did not sit well with them”.

~Haha…it didn’t “sit well” with a bunch of drunks. So instead of following the direction of the LE to conduct themselves in a safe manner, they continued acting out with no regard for anyone’s community, property, its residents or its laws.

Next illogical posting please.

I do agree it looks like it was deliberately set up to be a para-military police practice playground. When the departments get all the gear and the training, it gripes them to not get the chance to use it and who’s going to complain when they practice on a “bunch of drunks?” But the real question is: What are they practicing FOR? This incident shows that they will use any excuse to crack heads. It’s not like it’s the 60s and the kids were actually protesting something relevant – I don’t think this generation is mentally/morally/ethically equipped for that – they were just doing what they do best: having fun. So if the police are willing to crack heads over kids doing nothing more culturally/politically significant than having fun, then how do you think they will respond when something “real” happens? No one’s going to feel sorry for YOU when you get your head cracked for “failing to comply” when you had your hands over your head the whole time and thought you were doing your best TO comply…

I find it highly ironic that you are calling me illogical when you are being idealistic. I am arguing about what the kids SHOULD have done, I am arguing about the reality of crowd behavior and what the best response is.

You’re missing the point. At any of those concerts that you attended, did the police show up in riot gear with an armored personnel carrier and declare an unlawful assembly? If a cop was hit with a bottle at one of those concerts and the result was the police moving in and arresting people in the crowd, I guarantee you that there would have been a riot.

Next self-righteous posting please.

sorry NOT* arguing about what the kids should have done

Good point, why argue what THEY should have done?

Did THEY ignore any directions given to them by the LE?

Did THEY uproot neighborhood signs & trees?

Did THEY start fires?

Did THEY willingly damage neighborhood cars & private property?

Did THEY hurl items at LE?

Did THEY incite a riot?

Look…my point is, THEY had the choice to either step down, listen to the cops and deflate the situation…or act like a drunken mob. I don’t really care what hyperbole anyone wants to inject into the LE’s “agenda”. When an officer gives you direction, it’s irrelevant whether you think their actions are right or wrong, you can deal with that later in a court of law.

But in the heat of any moment…when the cop says STOP, you STOP.

Instead, they chose to act like drunken, immature young adults…which they are. And were treated as such.

The GOOD news is…most of them will grow up and out of stupid $*@! like this.

Interesting ideas, mkaney. Plain-clothes police provocateurs have been caught manipulating crowds at other events (and they all get pretty much the same training – yet another thing we should have more transparency on – just what are these guys being TAUGHT anyway?), so it would be interesting to know if something like that was the case here? Has anyone been monitoring YouTube for videos on this event? Surely someone has posted something by now? Probably the best thing to do (in the future) is to have non-drunk, non-participatory monitors videoing the crowd (study the G8 – or was it G10 – videos from Pittsburgh to get some ideas on standard operating procedures – “kettling” techniques and the like).

They didn’t need provocateurs in this case. The police were the provocateurs because they do not demonstrate reasonable behavior, they demonstrate dominance. And that results in an aggressive response in this kind of situation. I would say the provocateurs are used more for crowds in which the central focus is political.