Machete-Wielding Suspect in Attempted Carjacking Arrested Near Santa Maria: Sheriff’s Office

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office provided this image of officers arresting Brandon Morales-Gomez in Guadalupe on June 22, 2018.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office provided this image of officers arresting Brandon Morales-Gomez in Guadalupe on June 22, 2018.

A machete-wielding man who tried to break into a vehicle at a trailhead near Santa Maria was arrested Friday, authorities announced.

At around 11:30 a.m., deputies with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report about an attempted carjacking at the Point Sal Trailhead on Brown Road in the small city of Guadalupe.

The suspect, 20-year-old Brandon Jonathan Morales-Gomez of Santa Maria, allegedly waived a machete at the vehicle’s owners while demanding the keys.

The man fled through a creek when he heard sirens, deputies were told at the scene.

A local resident then reported someone entering his house from a field near the creek. The homeowner told authorities he last saw the intruder on his porch.

Deputies, along with officers with the California Highway Patrol and the Santa Maria and Guadalupe police departments, searched the area surrounding the property and found the suspect hiding in an old hot tub, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Authorities took him into custody without incident, the agency added.

The victims later confirmed Morales-Gomez as the man who tried to take their car, the Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies also reported finding two knives or machetes in the creek bed near the area where the 20-year-old was found.

Morales-Gomez was arrested on suspicion of attempted carjacking, robbery, burglary and brandishing a weapon, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He was being held in jail on $100,000 bail.