An inmate has been returned to custody after a brief escape that ended with a K9 apprehension. On Tuesday, July 6, 2022, at approximately 6:50 p.m., 26-year-old Nicholas Erickson of Santa Barbara escaped from the Santa Barbara County Main Jail. Erickson had originally been booked on Saturday, June 18, 2022, by the Santa Barbara Police Department for charges including burglary (felony), vandalism (felony), vehicle theft (felony), loitering (misdemeanor), obstruction (misdemeanor), grand theft (felony), and committing a crime while released on bail (felony) as well as several outstanding warrants for theft and elder abuse charges. His original bail was $150,000.
Custody deputies immediately locked down the Main Jail and notified patrol of the escape. Sheriff’s deputies, including two K9 teams, responded to the area and began searching within minutes. Deputies set up a perimeter area and requested a response from County Air Support to assist with the search. County Air Support responded to the area with Air 50, a Cessna 206 airplane, and coordinated the search with deputies on the ground. While they were searching, a resident in the 4600 block of Sierra Madre reported seeing a suspicious subject in the area.
As deputies closed in on the area, Air 50 tracked Erickson as he worked his way through the brush toward Oak Glen Drive. Sheriff’s Deputy Phillip Farley and his K9 Odin encountered Erickson, who feigned surrender and failed to comply with verbal commands before attempting to flee toward Oak Glen Drive. Deputy Farley deployed K9 Odin, who tumbled down a hill and fell from an 8–10-foot drop onto a sidewalk before apprehending Erickson in the 4500 block of Oak Glen Drive. Erickson was re-arrested at 8:20 p.m. and received medical attention for minor injuries sustained during his escape attempt, as well as the K9 apprehension. K9 Odin was treated at an area veterinary hospital for a leg injury and is expected to recover.
Erickson was re-booked at the Main Jail with additional charges of escape (felony), obstruction (misdemeanor), and harming a police dog (misdemeanor). He is being held on $200,000 bail. Custody staff are conducting a thorough and ongoing internal investigation into this escape. The method of escape and details that compromise jail security are not available for release.