Riot breaks out at Deltopia in Isla Vista, 26 hospitalized

Apr 6, 2014

Deltopia, the annual spring break party in Isla Vista, turned violent Saturday night as a crowd gathered to heckle officers making an arrest on the 6700 block of Del Playa Drive.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department says a UC Santa Barbara Police officer received a serious injury when a backpack full of liquor bottles hit the officer's head. During an arrest following that incident, the crowd began to throw rocks, bricks and bottles at law enforcement.

Riot teams from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties were dispatched to help control the escalating emergency situation, according to various law enforcement reports. Tear gas and rubber bullets were used to disperse the crowds.

"At least five more sheriff's deputies were injured during the course of the event," said Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Kelly Hoover in a release to media outlets. "One was hit in the face with a brick, and two others were hit in the hand with bottles."

It took several hours to control the situation, and in the end 18 people were arrested and 26 were taken to local hospitals. Numbers for the entire event are even higher, with 100 arrests and 44 hospitalizations.

Several small fires, mostly couches and mattresses, were lit during the night. Also, there was damage to public property, including street signs and police vehicles.

The Deltopia crowd swelled to an estimated 15,000 people at its peak.