At approximately 2:30 a.m. this morning, a woman getting into her car at the Chumash Casino parking structure got quite a scare when a man jumped into her car, put a knife to her throat and ordered her to drive. During the ordeal, the woman managed to open the driver’s side door and yell for help. The suspect became panicked, crawled over her and ran out the open door. He fled out of the parking structure and into a nearby creek area.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Deputies responded, set up a perimeter and brought in a K-9 unit to help search for the suspect. A deputy spotted the suspect attempting to get onto the upper reservation and chased after him. After a brief foot pursuit, the suspect jumped into some bushes near Highway 246 just east of Via Juana. The K-9 unit located the suspect and removed him from the bushes.
46-year-old Michael Howard Burritt, of Lompoc, was arrested for carjacking, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and armed robbery. He had warrants for his arrest in several counties. His wife, 47 year old Diane Evelyn Burritt, who was in the casino at the time of the incident, was located and also found to have a warrant out for her arrest. The couple was transported to the Santa Barbara County Jail. Micheal Burritt is being held without bail. Diane Burritt’s bail is set at $5,000.
The victim suffered a small laceration on her hand. Burritt had multiple cuts and punctures on his hands and torso area. No deputies were injured during the incident but K-9 Gango received two puncture wounds on one of his rear legs likely caused by a barbed wire fence located near the bushes where the suspect was located.