Ax-wielding man arrested at Santa Barbara County campground, authorities say

A Los Angeles man allegedly attacked fellow campers, firefighters and sheriff’s deputies Saturday afternoon at a campground in the Santa Ynez River Recreation Area in Santa Barbara County.

About 3:45 p.m., deputies responded to Paradise Campground on Paradise Road because of a report of an out-of-control camper who appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance, according to Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

The suspect, 25-year-old Ilya Yegudkin, “was reportedly wielding two axes and had thrown them at people,” according to a sheriff’s department news release.

“As deputies were responding, they also learned that the camper had cut up his tent, vandalized a car, and had assaulted several campers including his own friends as well as an elderly male who was sitting in his truck,” the release stated.

County firefighters were the first to arrive on scene, and Yegudkin charged at them, according to fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

Firefighters restrained Yegudkin while waiting for law enforcement to respond to the scene, Zaniboni said.

When deputies arrived, “Yegudkin was extremely combative and fought with deputies,” according to the sheriff’s department. “During the struggle to detain him, one deputy received a facial laceration.”

Deputies used several less-lethal methods of force in order to eventually subdue Yegudkin and take him into custody, according to the sheriff’s department.

Those methods included a Taser, pepper spray, a bean-bag shotgun and police batons, Zaniboni said.

Yegudkin was injured in the confrontation and was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. He was booked in absentia on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, felony resisting arrest, battery causing serious injury, and physical elder abuse., according to the sheriff’s department news release. Once he is released from the hospital, he will be transported and booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail, according to the sheriff’s department.

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