Department of Homeland Security Visits Santa Cruz in the Middle of the Night
Much of Santa Cruz woke to the sound of a helicopter buzzing overhead for almost 2 hours in the middle of the night, as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security led a series of pre-dawn raids across Santa Cruz County Monday, arresting nine members of the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, gang. All of this went down between 4AM and 6AM. SCPD said these arrests stemmed from a five-year investigation into MS-13. Twelve locations in the city of Santa Cruz and in Santa Clara County were raided this morning by SWAT teams. Those arrested have an extensive criminal history, including murder, extortion, and narcotics trafficking. Firearms were also seized. The Department of Homeland Security Investigations is the lead agency regarding these arrests. The raids, which included the use of multiple Bearcats with the Homeland Security insignia, sparked panic locally among extremely sensitive progressives that ICE was conducting raids on undocumented workers. Really. Santa Cruz progressives get their collective panties in a wad at the sight of a Bearcat. A pre dawn raid involving multiple Bearcats with the DHS/ICE is a Santa Cruz progressive’s worst nightmare, especially given who is President right now. So of course the “underground” Hispanic community freaked out, and the local progressive fear mongers like Krohn and that disabled woman in the wheelchair (who seems to be at the center of every local progressive protest lately) pour buckets of gasoline all over the fire, despite the obvious FACTS that contradict their rhetoric and lies. These people claim they advocate for the poor undocumented residents, then they flat out lie about something they know NOTHING about and flame the fears of the community they claim to advocate for. It’s all about attention for them. Attention for their political agenda. Fear mongers in the truest sense of the word. I’m not the only one who feels this way either.
“Baseless reports like this create mass panic and put communities and law enforcement in unnecessary danger,” he said. “Individuals or groups that disseminate erroneous and uncorroborated information are doing a disservice to those they are purporting to assist.”
SOUND FAMILIAR? The “Kooks For Bernie” have been blasting out lies about this like water from a firehose. They’re the ones creating unnecessary fear and paranoia within the Hispanic community here. Everyone else has been pretty transparent (after the fact but that’s the nature of a raid, they don’t warn everyone they’re coming or ask permission from local progressive kooks).
“We want to make it very clear that these were not immigration-related arrests,” according to Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Dan Flippo. “We recognize the timing is unfortunate, but this is a federal criminal case that was five years in the making and has nothing to do with immigration. We are very certain that this gang was involved in at least two homicides and another shooting in Santa Cruz”. Oh but that’s not gonna be enough to appease local tin foil hat conspiracy theorists who will undoubtably use this as an indication that Trump and his goons personally have it in for Santa Cruz. I’d be surprised if Trump knows where Santa Cruz is. The operation culminates an investigation that began in 2011. Nine male suspects were arrested in the local roundups, and all of them were members of MS-13 according to Flippo.
I keep hearing about how sensitive some people are locally to the timing here? Oh please. Let’s get something straight here. The feds aren’t going to wait until it’s “politically correct” to come swooping in and bust down doors in the middle of the night with hard gangbanger criminals. That date will never come. They don’t need Chris Krohn’s permission here. If he wants to grandstand about this, and fear monger to his lemming followers to believe his ridiculous conspiracy theories, he’s not doing the city any favors. But he doesn’t care about that. He cares about attention. And he sees an opportunity to talk and get attention. To use this to further his “agenda”. I wonder if he’ll bring up the fact that one of these raids took place on the same block as one of his rental properties? Was one of those busted one of his tenants?
And at least we can count on the feds to protect the public safety here. We can’t count on the city or county here. Does anyone really think the city or county was interested in rounding these criminals up on their own? If that was the case, they would have done it already. Thank you Department of Homeland Security for taking the lead here, and perhaps most importantly, for moving it to a federal court in San Jose away from the wrist slapping Santa Cruz judges. Maybe we’ll see some real punishment instead of what we could expect from our local county court system.
No Charges Filed by District Attorney in Sean Arlt Shooting Case
Santa Cruz District Attorney Jeff Rosell announced that his office will not pursue criminal charges against Santa Cruz Police Department officer Erik Bailey in the Oct. 16, 2016 incident which took the life of Sean Arlt. At a press conference on Thursday, Rosell presented an overall timeline of the incident and explained why his office made its determination. SCPD also held its own press conference on Thursday. Chief Kevin Vogel and deputy chiefs Rick Martinez and Dan Flippo addressed the incident, answered questions and presented a comprehensive audio, visual and textual record of the incident. The 32 year old Arlt was shot twice by Bailey at approximately 3:45AM on a rainy Oct. 16th on the 200 block of Chase Street after advancing on Bailey and three other officers in a “threatening” manner. The officers were called to the westside Santa Cruz residence because Arlt, who suffered from a mental illness, was pounding on the door threatening to kill everyone inside the house. SCPD dealt with numerous calls regarding Arlt acting in a threatening manner in the days leading up to the shooting. On Oct. 11, five days before he was shot to death, two officers from SCPD were dispatched to the same residence on Chase where the shooting would occur five days later. Arlt reportedly attacked the officers, requiring the officers to deploy tasers and attempt to subdue him with a vascular neck restraint. Neither worked. Eventually Arlt was taken into custody with the help of one sergeant and nine officers, Vogel said. He was charged with resisting arrest and given an involuntary psychiatric hold (known as a 5150). After just eight hours in the behavioral health unit, Arlt was released. The county health facility failed to notify SCPD that Arlt had been released despite being asked to do so, Vogel said.
The District Attorney’s Office served as the lead investigative agency after the countywide critical incident protocol, which ensures an independent investigation, was enacted. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for collecting and analyzing the evidence. SCPD will continue its own administrative investigation into the shooting. However, all four officers involved, including Bailey, have returned to active duty.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood Line Pacific Avenue on Saturday Morning
Hundreds of people turned out to support Planned Parenthood on Saturday morning in downtown Santa Cruz. Many of them dressed in pink and carried signs of support for Planned Parenthood, who has an office on Pacific Avenue. In fairness to the “right to life” supporters, they had a small number (maybe a dozen or so people) turn out along Center street as well. They weren’t dressed in pink but they had signs too. It was all pretty peaceful and non-confrontational. They didn’t block the streets, or break anything, or hurt anyone. I wouldn’t even call it “civil disobedience” as they weren’t breaking any laws or “protesting”. They were just showing support for PP, a group that seems to always be under fire in the national media.
Adrian Gonzalez Stays in Jail For Now
A juvenile court upheld terms of detention at a public hearing last Friday for Adrian “A.J.” Gonzalez, who is accused of killing Maddy Middleton almost two years ago in Santa Cruz. Gonzalez, 17, faces charges of murder with a special allegation of lying in wait, kidnapping, forcible rape, lewd acts with a child younger than 14 and sexual penetration with an instrument, according to court documents. Superior Court Judge Stephen Siegel ordered Gonzalez to remain in juvenile custody without bail, and scheduled the next hearing in the case for March 24th. At a later proceeding, the juvenile court will determine whether Gonzalez will be tried as an adult. Juvenile cases typically are not open to the public, but in some cases involving serious matters such as the pending murder charges in Gonzalez’s case, they are open.
The recently passed public brainfart known as Proposition 57 included legislation that gave courts complete jurisdiction over determining whether or not to try minors as adults in certain cases. Gonzalez was 15 at the time of the slaying. Gonzalez is accused of luring his young neighbor Maddy Middleton into his family’s apartment at the Tannery Arts Center in July of 2015. She was sexually assaulted, stabbed in the neck, and wedged in a recycling bin at the apartment complex’s garage, according to Santa Cruz Police Department and information in her death certificate. Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell said he is confident that the case will be transferred to Superior Court. If tried as an adult, Gonzalez could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Who Let the Dummy Out?
In a story straight out of the Onion, a man was arrested for DUI after he thought it was a good idea to leave his parked car along Highway 17 while he was stuck in traffic, and take a walk down the middle of the highway while drinking a 24oz Tecate. He would just randomly walk up to people’s cars and bother them until he happened to walk up on the wrong car (a CHP officer). He was arrested on scene.
Denying the Obvious
Why am I not surprised in the least at the delusional excuses from the fools from Food Not Bombs. They claim people are “planting” garbage at their slopfests to make them look bad. Seriously. They claim a nice lady who’s been picking up trash for YEARS planted trash to make them look bad. Put down the peyote already. Their “supposed” leader has been posting all of those stupid flyers around town claiming the city wants to hand out free meth to the homeless. Hey, that’s a great strategy to show you’re not a delusional, brain fried, lying barnacle! McMuffin and his UCSC sugar mama love to stir up mierda locally (figuratively and literally). These 2 seem to be on a mission to blame ANYONE but FNB for the local rat problem downtown. This is the kind of enabling stupidity I’m so tired of locally. Keep the signatures coming.
“Day Without Immigrants” National Walkout Draws Tepid Local Response
It was nice to see the national response to the “Day Without Immigrants” walkout but I saw or heard nothing about it in Santa Cruz. I saw a couple businesses closed in support, but this is Santa Cruz! We protest when someone sneezes in public! I was expecting at least some kind of march down Pacific Avenue, or to see a bunch of protesters waving signs at the clock tower. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Maybe we’re just burned out on all the other protests. Or maybe the local left wing extremist kooks were too busy fear mongering all the local Hispanic community members over the MS-13 raids, and guess what the fallout is? They’re too afraid to protest in public now. Well done folks. Just scare the mierda out of the most vulnerable people in the community to the point they’re too afraid to participate in a national protest locally. I hope these liars and fear mongers are proud of what they failed to accomplish here.
An Honest Examination of California’s Affordable Housing Crisis
I read a great article about California’s affordable housing crisis. It cuts through a lot of the typical bullshit rhetoric you hear, mostly from liberal progressives about how badly it’s needed (well duh!) but never with any indication how they would actually pay for it. One of the most interesting (and obvious) observations for me was how politicians push for more low income housing requirements from commercial developers (cutting into their margins) but also want to require all union construction workers on the project (adding more costs and cutting more from their margin). And the unions back who usually? Democrats. Liberals. Progressives. Ask Sandy Brown. They got her elected to the city council with their out of town money financing her campaign. It’s no wonder she didn’t want to publicly disclose her campaign finances (and didn’t until well into the campaign, violating ethics rules along the way). It’s no wonder commercial developers look at Santa Cruz mostly with a side eye, and usually require the city to offer some form of stupid incentives to attract them in spite of the permit nightmare locally and the repressive political environment here.
SCPD Helps Homeless Vets
SCPD launched a new pilot program to assist homeless vets in the city. SCPD is partnering with Santa Cruz Veterans Resource Center (VRC) to help vets find housing and support services. The focus will be on trying to keep vets out of jail if possible and divert them to services provided by Santa Cruz VRC. SCPD will connect homeless or struggling Veterans to critical services as part of the outreach. Officers can offer them the option of transportation to Veterans Resource Center. Under the pilot program, VRC will check to see if the individual has access to benefits through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families. If they are eligible, VRC will work to get them housed, if needed, and see what services the vet is interested in, like job training or counseling. If the Veteran is ineligible, VRC will call the Homeless Services Center to see if anyone there can help.
Hope Services Receives $32K From the City of Santa Cruz and Downtown Association
Santa Cruz Vice Mayor David Terrazas awarded over $32,500 to Hope Services, a local nonprofit on behalf of the City of Santa Cruz and the Downtown Association’s Parking for Hope Program. This program ran from Dec. 18th through 25th and the proceeds from street meters during these eight days were designated for donation to Hope Services, a Santa Cruz nonprofit that provides training and support services to adults with developmental disabilities and has helped to keep downtown streets clean for over 20 years. I’m a big fan of Hope Services. I see them all the time downtown. They do the dirty work and they always have a smile on their faces. Great program and I’m glad to see the city and the Downtown Association helping them out here with a generous donation from this program. If you see them downtown, shoot them a smile and say thanks. They’ll appreciate it.
Van Catches Fire on Highway 17
If you happened to be driving on southbound Highway 17 on Monday afternoon, you might have noticed this van that caught on fire along the side of the highway. Within minutes of this photo, the van was fully engulfed in flames. No word on why or what happened. Is this Highway jinxed or what?
7/11 Robbed on Ocean and Broadway
I got a report that the 7/11 on Ocean and Broadway was robbed on Tuesday morning. Don’t really have any more details than that. The parking lots was full of SCPD cars and the parking lot was taped off. But I have no description of the suspect or whether they were caught.
Smash and Grab Robberies Increase on the East Side
I’ve heard about a bunch of smash and grab robberies lately, many taking place on the east side of Santa Cruz. Mid Town Guitar had their window smashed Thursday morning. I also heard about a smashed in front glass door at Engfer’s Pizza on Seabright that happened some time in the middle of the night on Thursday morning. I also heard Aloha Motors on Ocean was broken into and vandalized. I did hear SCPD might have arrested the Aloha Motors culprit, I heard someone saw him at McDonalds on Ocean and they had him surrounded at the construction site where the new Habit Burger is going. Hope they caught them. I hear so many stories about this type of crime so often I really can’t cover them all. It’s truly a daily occurrence locally now.
Valentines Day Robber Arrested
A 22-year-old man was arrested on Valentine’s Day in connection with robberies at two stores in Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz resident allegedly attempted to rob a market in the 2000 block of Soquel Avenue around 10:25AM. Then at around 11:30AM, he was suspected of robbing a convenience store in the 300 block of Ocean Street. In both incidents, the suspect passed a note to the cashier claiming to have a gun. After a search resulting in his arrest, the man confessed in an interview with detectives that he faked having a gun during the robberies. He was booked into jail on suspicion of attempted robbery, robbery and an outstanding felony warrant. What a sweetheart!
Kayakers Rescued From Harbor Mouth
The Santa Cruz Harbor Patrol sent a boat out to rescue a couple of kayakers who got swamped by swells and fell out of their tandem sea kayak at the entrance to the harbor on Monday morning. Nobody drowned.
City Council Meeting: 2/14/17
Santa Cruz PD’s beloved Chief of Police is retiring after 30 years on the force. City Council thanked him for his service and presented a plaque to him. Thank you Chief Vogel! I hope you thoroughly enjoy your retirement. You deserve it.
So as we all know Department of Homeland Security and SCPD arrested Twelve MS-13 gang members at 4am on Monday morning. The manner in which these seriously violent individuals were taken into custody is being questioned by many in the community. There were flash bombs, there was breaking in of doors, broken windows and not surprisingly terrified individuals. This is how terrorists are taken into custody. Given the present climate I do not blame anyone in the community for being terrified of these actions. I hope all the innocent people that were affected by this have found some peace today. Anyone familiar with Santa Cruz City Council meetings were more than likely prepared for a large demonstration and it happened. I for one am in total support of Santa Cruz being a Sanctuary City. I understand the fear that must have been felt by our undocumented people, the people that love them and other individuals that live in or near these neighborhoods. That coupled with the fact that there were many ICE raids all over the country was certainly frightening and I understand that at first glance this would look like an immigration sweep but it was NOT. Department of Homeland Security assisted SCPD in removing extremely dangerous criminals from the community. There were a number of news reports stating that very fact but it doesn’t seem any of these demonstrators were listening. The demonstration yesterday was clearly orchestrated by Khron and Brown. They invited and encouraged this mayhem into the Council meeting yesterday. If ANY of these individuals had actually bothered to show up to the meeting on time they would have heard Chief Vogel explain exactly what happened play by play. Use your brains, use your resources, study who MS-13 is. This is a terrorist group and they are living amongst the people you are protesting for and want to protect. They are extorting money, threatening and murdering people in our community. That entire Council supports undocumented people. ALL OF THEM. They all support the idea of Santa Cruz being a Sanctuary City. There were several speakers that I really appreciated. A few spoke of how frightened they were and I am glad they had a venue to share. One gentleman said in no way are we supporting MS-13. One solitary speaker supported law enforcement and reiterated how dangerous MS-13 is. But of course the vast majority of speakers yelled, stomped their feet, and got the public hand job that their egos are so desperately seeking. Good for you guys! After public comments ended about half of you left. I have to wonder what that was about. Of course some people have other places to be but I can’t help but think a number of you just wanted to be heard but didn’t want to listen. So typical. “LISTEN TO ME! IT’S ALL ABOUT ME! HEY LOOK AT ME! OK I gotta go”. I challenge you to ask yourselves this. What is your intent? Then go a bit further. What is the nature of your intent? Are you brave enough to look that deep? Sandy Brown, you are the worst among all of them. When the protesters came in and Council left the room you stopped to take a picture and give them a thumbs up. What a blatant disregard to the police officers in the room, the police officers that risked their lives to get extremely dangerous criminals off the street. I don’t know how you can look any of them in the face. I didn’t think it was possible for me to have less respect for you but there it is. I also need to ask why is it when all these people came in chanting “LET US SPEAK!” that the item got moved up on the agenda. Why was this shitty behavior rewarded? So now the people that were there to speak on other items on the agenda had to wait till the circus was over. We should change the sign on Ocean Street. Welcome to Santa Cruz the City of Enabling. Oral Communications was the usual band of dipshits promoting their “city council is giving out meth” flyer. Do you not get it? This behavior only underlines that you are not to be taken seriously. You might want to ask creeper with the handlebar mustache to stay away from the microphone too. You are losing whatever street cred you had left. And of course the great robed one spoke on every single agenda item. EVERY SINGLE ONE. On one of them he started with “I don’t know much about this but…. Blah blah blah blah blah” Eyes in the gallery glaze over.
by Ernie Douglas
Golden State Warriors:
The GS Warriors began an extended 3 game road trip in Memphis, where they took on the Grizzlies. They had played this team twice this year already and lost both games, so they really didn’t want to drop a 3rd straight game to this team, who they might see in the post season. Memphis always plays the Warriors tough (literally) as they play a very physical game that the Warriors struggle with. Still, the Warriors were in the pocket most of the night and beat Memphis pretty easily. The big anticipated game this week was in OKC. KD goes home. Or what was his home until he left for the greener pastures and nicer weather of the Bay Area. And hell hath no fury like Russell Westbrook scorned. Zaza is still out recovering from an injury, so it will be up to Javale McGee to try to contain Steven Adams. And Draymond was chirping at Westbrook on Friday, saying he was really gonna miss Zaza in the OKC game. It’s gonna be a chippy game. These 2 teams don’t like each other, and now we have the KD/Russ feud on top of that. So the game itself wasn’t really close, and it never was. But it had plenty of high drama. KD and Westbrook jawing at each other. KD and Roberson head butting each other and almost coming to blows. And then they flew to Denver for the trap game against the Nuggets and got beaten badly. Poor defense. Lights out shooting from Denver. Not a big deal since they aren’t chasing any records here. They came home to Sacramento on Wednesday night and they struggled against the suddenly surging Kings. Draymond got kicked out of the game for getting 2 technical fouls before the half. But they blew the game open in the second half and won easily. Next up is the all star game! Warriors have 4 players (Curry, KD, Draymond, and Klay) with 2 starters (Curry and KD) and Steve Kerr coaching the game. The running joke is will Kerr play the 4 warriors together with Westbrook. Everyone wants to see this. It would add some high drama to an otherwise boring exhibition game.
Upcoming games this week: 2/23 vs. LA Clippers
Santa Cruz Warriors:
The Santa Cruz Warriors took on the Austin Spurs last Saturday night at the Kaiser. They won 113-110 on Saturday night in front of a 22nd straight sellout crowd at Kaiser. The Warriors were led by Scott Wood with 27 points. LaDontae Henton added 19 points, while Chris Obekpa chipped in a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. They moved to the “big house” at Oracle Arena against the OKC Blue, establishing a new single-game D-League attendance record with a crowd of 17,497 in the first-ever D-League game on Golden State’s home floor. They lost 105-96. James Southerland led the Warriors with 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 steals. Alex Hamilton added 15 points and 6 rebounds off the bench, while Dennis Clifford scored 14 points. Phil Pressey notched a double-double with 10 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds. They took on the Blue again a couple days later in OKC, and lost again 109-100.
Upcoming games this week: 2/22 vs. Reno (at Kaiser)
Weekly shoutout to the DHS, SCPD, and everyone who helped out in Monday’s local raids. Time to take out the trash. Well done. Shoutout to Chief Kevin Vogel for handling the press conference about Sean Arlt with transparency, full disclosure, and class. Unlike the classless bozo yelling outside.
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