Saturday, July 23, 2016


Attempted Murder & Hate Crime Arrest 29 Jun

Sergeant Riley Harwood from City of Santa Barbara
Photo from Sergeant Riley Harwood
Francisco Antonio Diego, age 40, of Miami, Florida was arrested for attempted murder and violation of civil rights (hate crime) after he attacked a 34-year old homeless Santa Barbara resident with a knife. Diego is Hispanic and the victim of this crime is African-American. An off-duty officer from the Santa Barbara Police Department witnessed the altercation and intervened, likely saving the victim’s life.

On June 28, 2016 at 8:02 p.m., SBPD Sergeant Todd Johnson was off-duty in civilian clothes and riding his bicycle home following his shift as a patrol supervisor. While on the 00 block of E. Anapamu Street he observed a confrontation taking place on the south sidewalk between Diego and the victim. While shouting racial epithets Diego was repeatedly attempting to stab and slash the victim with a knife while the victim was shielding himself with a backpack. It

was apparent to Sergeant Johnson that the victim was about to be killed or seriously injured, and that the safety of numerous bystanders at a nearby bus stop could also be in jeopardy. Sergeant Johnson stopped and with gun drawn intervened in the altercation, halting the attack on the victim. He detained Diego at gunpoint and instructed bystanders to call the police. Moments later other officers arrived and Diego was taken into custody.

Investigation revealed that Diego had arrived in Santa Barbara earlier in the day and met the victim in the vicinity of the Santa Barbara Public Library at 40 E. Anapamu Street. Diego came to believe that the victim had taken his cigarettes, prompting Diego to attack the victim with a knife. Investigation indicates that this assault was also racially motivated.

Diego was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on the aforementioned charges with a bail amount of $1,000,000.00. Booking photo provided by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

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