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Man arrested following small explosion at Santa Barbara restaurant

SB flash bang.JPG
Posted at 4:00 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 19:00:26-05

A man was arrested following a small explosion at a Santa Barbara restaurant Tuesday.

Santa Barbara police say they responded to reports of an explosion inside a restaurant on the 100 block of Harbor Way around 7 p.m.

Surveillance video from inside the restaurant showed a man walking out of the restroom and then throwing something near the kitchen, officers said in a press release, adding that “A bright flash could be observed from the object that was thrown by the subject. Upon further inspection it was learned the item thrown was a flash-bang that is similarly used by trained law enforcement and military personnel to create sound and light diversions.”

Police say after the detonation, the person who they’d seen throw the flash-bang returned to the table where he had been eating.

Witnesses were reportedly able to identify him and pointed him out to officers.

Police say Eric Carl Strand, 55, of Goleta was taken into custody on suspicion of maliciously and recklessly possessing a destructive or explosive device and exploding or igniting a destructive device, which are both felonies.

He was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail and bail set at $500,000.

Investigators say no one was injured during the incident and a possible motive is unknown.