Isla Vista Pastor Attacked by UCSB Student
Isla Vista - May 7th, 2016
A UCSB student is in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail following the assault of an Isla Vista pastor at his home in the 6800 block of Fortuna Road. At approximately 2:15 a.m. this morning, May 7, 2016, Father Jon-Stephen Hedges (affectionately known as Father Jon) heard someone knock at his front door and a male voice yelling for help. The male suspect, later identified as 22-year-old Paul Gusman, began throwing his body against the front door of Father Jon’s house. Fearing that someone was in desperate need of help, Father Jon opened the door to provide assistance.
Gusman, who was naked from the waist down, then forced his way into the residence and repeatedly punched Father Jon in the face. During the attack, Father Jon was allegedly hit more than thirty times in the face and his wife was struck on her right hand. Despite the traumatic nature of the event, she managed to call 9-1-1 for help.
When Sheriff’s deputies from the Isla Vista Foot Patrol arrived, they found Gusman standing in the front yard. He appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance(s) and possibly intoxicated. He was arrested and treated at a local hospital for an injury to his hand that he sustained during the attack.
Gusman was subsequently booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of assault upon a person with force likely to produce great bodily injury, residential burglary, elder abuse and dissuading a witness/victim. He is being held on $500,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on May 10.
Father Jon was transported to the hospital with major injuries. Fortunately, he was released from the hospital and is now with his family recovering from his injuries. Father Jon is a UCSB graduate and has lived in Isla Vista since 1968. He is an assistant pastor at St. Athanasius Orthodox Church and a volunteer Chaplain with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
The assault is under investigation but preliminary indications are that it was a random attack and that the suspect was not acquainted with Father Jon.
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