Arroyo Grande man among 8 arrested in Isla Vista brawl

The Associated PressJuly 16, 2014 

— Eight more people, including an Arroyo Grande man, have been arrested for their alleged roles in a spring semester college party-turned-brawl in Isla Vista that injured 33 people.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office announced Wednesday that it has completed its comprehensive investigation into the April 5 melee that resulted in 25 total arrests and made the area re-examine its party image.

Arron Cozza, 19, of Arroyo Grande was identified by authorities as the person seen on video pulling a stop sign out of the ground and waving it around, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said in Wednesday's news release. Cozza, a student at Santa Barbara City College, was arrested April 10 on suspicion of receiving stolen property and theft, the news release said.

Detectives traveled across the state to South Lake Tahoe, the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County to arrest the seven other suspects. They were booked on suspicion of inciting a riot, felony vandalism, refusing to disperse, remaining at a riot, and obstructing and resisting a peace officer with violence.

The violence flared as 20,000 people attended an unsanctioned gathering called Deltopia that occurs at the start of UC Santa Barbara's spring semester. Hundreds of people threw things at officers, tore down stop signs, rocked cars and smashed windows.

Prosecutors charged then-17-year-old Desmond Edwards as an adult with assault and resisting an officer for allegedly hitting a police officer in the head with a glass bottle at the start of the melee. He pleaded not guilty earlier this month, said Santa Barbara County prosecutor Mary Barron. An attorney representing Edwards could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.

Throughout the weekend's festivities, 470 people were arrested or cited, said Santa Barbara sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

Sheriff's investigators appealed to the public to provide videos and photos of the incident and used newly installed temporary surveillance cameras along the street to help identify people causing trouble. The agency was also the first nationwide to turn to a new crowdsourcing technology to try to get tips from the public.

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