SANTA BARBARA - A Santa Barbara man who brought a backpack containing an airsoft gun, which looked like a real handgun, two knives, ammunition and gang related material to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse today is in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail. 26-year-old Brian Charles Ruiz, who was at the Santa Barbara Courthouse to attend a gang injunction hearing and was wearing a t-shirt opposing the gang injunction, was arrested and charged with felony possession of bringing an airsoft gun and knives to a court building.
At approximately noon today, a Sheriff’s bailiff was doing a security sweep of the crowded area and noticed a grey and black checked backpack located under a bench in the hallway outside of the screening area for Superior Court Anacapa Division, Department 5. Inside the backpack, Sheriff’s deputies discovered an airsoft gun, two knives (one of which had a blade longer than four inches), 22” long rifle ammunition and a loaded 22” long rifle magazine. The backpack also contained multiple compact discs with what appeared to be gang writing and a video camera which showed suspected gang association.
The backpack also contained Ruiz’s identification. When he came back to the bench to retrieve his backpack, Ruiz was arrested. He was transported to the Santa Barbara County Jail and is being held on $20,000 bail.
Ruiz is known to local law enforcement and has a gang affiliation.