SANTA BARBARA - We are learning more about a Santa Barbara man who's been charged with a string of bizarre crimes at his home near downtown.
Neighbors say 55 year old Michael Stinchfield had a successful real estate business and parlayed that success into a comfortable life in Santa Barbara with a wife and two boys, a large, beautiful home on upper Garden Street and a car collection.
But neighbors say Stinchfield's life began to spiral downward after the death of his wife from cancer more than a year ago.
Stinchfield was arrested last Friday morning by Santa Barbara Police on several felony charges including assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, attempted rape, sexual battery, false imprisonment, dissuading a victim and committing a hate crime.
Police say when officers responded to a disturbance call at the Stinchfield home on Garden Street, two women can running out of the house screaming, saying they had been beaten with a baseball bat and held against their will.
Neighbors say Stinchfield was unusually loud and police had been called to his home in recent months.
"He was a good neighbor until about a couple of months ago", says neighbor Valarie Cherot, "then there was a lot of noise coming from the home, he made a lot of noise."
Stinchfield is being held in Santa Barbara County jail with no bail, he's do to be arraigned on the charges against him Tuesday morning in Santa Barbara court.
Court records show Stinchfield is facing other charges unrelated to Friday morning's arrest including making criminal threats and DUI.
Stinchfield made news earlier this year when he led the CHP and other law enforcement on a long pursuit on Highway 101 that began in Ventura County and ended near Hollywood.
News helicopters broadcast live images of Stinchfield surrendering on the highway with officers pointing their guns at him.
Stinchfield is reportedly planning to open a bar and restaurant on lower State Street in downtown Santa Barbara.
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:15 AM EDT2013-05-18 15:15:59 GMT
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