Jail Escapee Found and Arrested After Making Suicidal Threats
Arroyo Hondo Vista Point - August 17th, 2016
On Tuesday, 08-16-16 at about 0915 hours, a State Park Law
Enforcement Lifeguard contacted Fitim Burgazi (38 years old, from Santa Barbara), at the
Vista Point rest area along highway 101 south of Mariposa Reina. Burgazi made a statement
to the Lifeguard that he had a weapon and intended to harm himself. Burgazi then fled on
foot along the railroad tracks.
Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Deputies arrived, were able to confirm Burgazi’s identity and
determined Burgazi had a felony warrant for his arrest for escaping a custody facility. In
addition, Burgazi was wanted for violating terms of his felony probation. A perimeter was
established and a search for Burgazi was conducted in the area of Arroyo Quemada. With
the assistance of Probation, State Parks, CHP and the Sheriff’s Department, Burgazi was
found hiding in bushes along the bluffs by SBSO K-9 Magnum.
When Burgazi was found he was in possession of a knife and stated he intended to kill
himself. With Fire and AMR personnel staged in the area, an over 2-hour long negotiation
with Burgazi took place. Information was obtained by Probation personnel that Burgazi’s
spouse believed Burgazi intended to force law enforcement to shoot him.
Burgazi was observed placing the knife to his throat and began a cutting motion which
deputies believed would cause great body harm or death. A pyrotechnic distraction device
was deployed in conjunction with less lethal “bean bag” projectiles. This action stopped
Burgazi from harming himself and within a few minutes, Burgazi surrendered.
Burgazi was transported to a local hospital for treatment and later booked into custody at the
Santa Barbara Jail.
For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover
Business Hours: (805) 681-4100