Crime

Hatchet-wielding man driven to crime because he hates Teslas, Santa Barbara police say

Officers arrested a man Wednesday in downtown Santa Barbara after he allegedly confronted a motorist driving a Tesla automobile.
Officers arrested a man Wednesday in downtown Santa Barbara after he allegedly confronted a motorist driving a Tesla automobile. Noozhawk.com

A man who apparently harbors a strong dislike for Tesla automobiles was arrested Wednesday afternoon in downtown Santa Barbara after he allegedly confronted the driver of one of the pricey electric cars, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Officers were dispatched about 12:30 p.m. to the 100 block of Arrellaga Street on a report of a man with a hatchet who allegedly struck a Tesla that was driving by.

“He took issue with a Tesla, and said, ‘I hate Teslas,’ and created some motion with his arm while holding a hatchet,” police Sgt. Andrew Hill told Noozhawk.com.

Witnesses and the driver both saw and heard the man make contact with the vehicle, but a subsequent inspection revealed no damage, Hill said, “so technically there was no vandalism.”

The suspect, whose name was not released, fled on foot, but was arrested near Chapala and Micheltorena streets.

“It turns out he’s either a little crazy or under the influence of meth, or both,” Hill said.

The man was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs, “and the hatchet is now in our custody,” Hill said.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at tbolton@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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