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UC Santa Barbara Student Arrested For Brutal Attack On Pastor

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Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department
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UCSB student Paul Gusman, who was arrested for allegedly attacking a local pastor

A UC Santa Barbara student has been arrested for a brutal attack on a local pastor.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s officials say on Saturday at about 2 a.m., 22-year-old Paul Gusman began throwing his body against the front door of Father Jon Stephen Hedges’ home located on the 68-hundred block of Fortuna Road in Isla Vista.

The pastor, known as Father Jon, apparently thought someone needed help and opened the door to assist. Authorities say Gusman, who was naked from the waist down, forced his way inside and repeatedly punched the pastor in the face, allegedly hitting him more than 30 times and even striking his wife on her hand.

Deputies arrived and reported that Gusman appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance and possibly intoxicated. He was arrested, treated for an injury and booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on several charges including assault upon a person with force likely to produce great bodily injury and elder abuse. Father Jon was rushed to a hospital with major injuries.

A preliminary investigation reveals the attack was random, and the suspect and victim did not know each other.

Father Jon  is an assistant pastor of St. Athanasius Orthodox Church and a volunteer Chaplain with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. He has lived in Isla Vista since 1968.