SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara Police make an arrest in an attempted elder abuse case this weekend. Two people are behind bars after, charged with the crime.
This is what Santa Barbara Police had to say:
On August 31, 2012 the Santa Barbara Police Department's Traffic Collision Investigator, Officer Jaycee Hunter, arrested Matthew Rene Brown, age 28, of Santa Barbara, for attempted extortion and elder abuse following a month-long investigation. Brown's girlfriend, Alexis Janelle Flores, age 25, of Santa Barbara, was also arrested for possession of heroin, possession of narcotics paraphernalia, being under the influence of heroin, and child endangerment.
The victim in this case is a 67-year old man who is a Santa Barbara resident. Investigation indicates that on August 1, 2012 at 6:15 p.m., the victim was driving his Mercedes Benz and had turned onto 100 W. Mission Street from 1900 Chapala Street. Brown contacted the victim on 100 W. Mission Street and angrily told the victim that he had just struck Brown while Brown was crossing the street on foot at the intersection of Chapala Street and Mission Street. Brown also informed the victim that he had committed the crime of hit-and-run because he did not stop after the accident. Brown is significantly larger than the victim and throughout the incident angrily uttered obscenities and derided the victim, causing the victim to be fearful for his safety. The victim did not believe he had been involved in a collision, nevertheless he exchanged personal information with Brown as required when an accident occurs, because Brown demanded it.
No traffic collision between Brown and the victim ever occurred. Despite that, Brown later contacted the victim and attempted to extort $5,000.00 from him as compensation. Brown demanded cash and told the victim that he did not want the police or the victim's insurance company to get involved. Brown told the victim that if the incident was reported to the police, the victim would go to jail for hit-and-run. The victim did, however, contact the Santa Barbara Police Department and Officer Hunter's investigation ensued. In the course of his investigation Officer Hunter discovered that Brown is currently on felony probation stemming from a case where he stole $7,000 from an elderly woman he knew by writing forged checks on her checking account.
On August 30, 2012 Officer Hunter obtained a $50,000.00 arrest warrant for Brown for attempted extortion and elder abuse and a search warrant for his residence at 1818 Bath Street Apt. C. On August 31, 2012 at 7:30 a.m., Officer Hunter, with the assistance of other SBPD officers and detectives, executed the search warrant and arrested Brown at the scene. Also present at the residence was Brown's girlfriend, Flores, and their 3-year old son. Flores was found to be under the influence of heroin and in possession of heroin and narcotics paraphernalia, which were found throughout the apartment and accessible to her son. Flores was also arrested. Child Welfare Services was contacted and the boy was placed in the custody of Flores's family.
Brown was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on the aforementioned $50,000.00 warrant. Flores was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on the aforementioned charges with a bail amount of $10,000.00.
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