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Man threatens boy with knife in downtown Santa Barbara, police say

Posted at 3:01 PM, Jul 30, 2021

Around 4 p.m. on Thursday, Santa Barbara police officers say they responded to a man brandishing a knife in downtown Santa Barbara.

The department received calls from the area near State St. and Anapamu St. that someone was making threats with a knife.

Police identified the man as a transient named Robert J. Tobarro, 58. Witnesses said that he was verbally aggressive and appeared under the influence.

Police say Tobarro was making threats toward a family visiting from out of town. Police say for unknown reasons, he singled out a young boy in the family and directed threats toward him. When the boy's father reacted, Tobarro pulled out a fixed blade knife from his pocket, according to police.

Witnesses say that Tobarro continued to threaten the family while holding the knife, according to a press release.

Officers arrested Tobarro and booked him in Santa Barbara County Jail. He faces charges including criminal threats, child endangerment and brandishing a weapon. He is being held on $100,000 bail.

Two of the charges are felony charges.

The family was not physically harmed during the confrontation.