press release - 08171601

Fitim Burgazi, 38


Fitim Burgazi, 38

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

Copyright 2016 Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, All Rights Reserved