July 13, 2010
Justin Tevis, a former candidate for Santa Barbara City Council and a once-vocal Tea Party activist, was arrested early Sunday morning for allegedly picking a fight with a bouncer at EOS Lounge.
According to police reports, Tevis approached the bouncer, who was standing in front of the bar at 500 Anacapa St., around 1 a.m. and, without provocation, pushed the man. When officers arrived, Tevis and the bouncer were on the ground fighting, police documents show.
After breaking up the scuffle, police said Tevis “actively resisted” arrest. He was booked into county jail on misdemeanor charges of battery and resisting arrest.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Tevis denied picking a fight, saying it was the bouncer who provoked the incident.
“One of the bouncers came and just kind of attacked me and my friend,” he told the Daily Sound. He added later, “I feared for my life so I acted in self defense.”
Tevis, who garnered 2,700 votes during the city’s general election last November, said he intended to fight the charges.
“I just want to maintain my innocence and wait until the full facts of the story come out,” he said.
Tevis, 27, said he spent much of Sunday in jail.
Police reports show that Tevis’ arrest went much smoother than that of his friend, who is also 27.
After placing Tevis in handcuffs, an officer approached the friend, who was being held on the ground by the bouncer.
The man reportedly refused to give the officer one of his hands and, according to the police report, the officer struck the man in the ribs “several times without response.”
At this point, the report says the officer felt the man reaching for his belt. The officer responded by shooting the man with a Taser. But instead of giving up his arm, the man apparently attempted to stand, at which point the officer activated his Taser three more times. Still, the man refused to be handcuffed.
At some point, another officer, who was described in the police report as weighing 240 pounds, arrived. This officer, the police report notes, issued “several body punches” to the man, who still refused to be handcuffed.
The officer then unleashed “several elbow strikes” to the “upper body” of the suspect, the police report said.
Eventually, the man, whose identity was not released due to the early stage of the investigation, was handcuffed and arrested. He was charged with felony resisting arrest.
Tevis declined to comment on the record about the charge levied against his friend or the circumstances surrounding his arrest.
Tevis, who finished ninth in a field of 13 candidates competing for four council seats, campaigned on his fiscal conservative ideals and a return to back-to-basics government.
During the campaign, he was a staple at Tea Party gatherings, once even delivering a fiery anti-health care reform speech in front of Rep. Lois Capps’ office from the bed of a pickup truck.
On his Myspace page, titled Tevis4Council, which remains up and running and was logged on to as recently as Sunday, Tevis, who was born and raised in the Santa Ynez Valley, writes: “My fundamental belief is that government should stay out of our lives and let us live freely. We should not fear government, but instead we should impose our will upon how public & civil servants act.”
Asked yesterday if he intended to seek office in the future, Tevis said: “No, I never wanted to run for office in the first place.”
He continued, explaining that he ran because he didn’t want people to say, “Where were you when your country was failing.”http://www.thedailysound.com/071310tevis