The Weekly Dump 8.11.17

Stabbing Outside Capitola Mall

Around noon on Thursday, a stabbing occurred behind the Ross store in Capitola Mall. Reports came in that three men attacked and stabbed a 28 year Santa Cruz man several times in the upper torso with a knife. The attackers were described as Hispanic men between 18-20 years old who fled in a sedan. The victim ran across Clares Street where police found him in front of a Fed Ex store. Police suspect the stabbing was gang related. A witness stated the incident started in front of the Pier 1 store, where the victim was chased across the street to Ross, where he was stabbed multiple times by multiple people. The victim then stumbled across the street to the Fed Ex location. The victim was flown to a trauma center where his condition is unknown. Police are reviewing surveillance videos and interviewing witnesses to identity the victim’s attackers, while a motive remains unclear. It’s hard enough to get people to go to Capitola Mall anymore. The place seems half empty of stores. The threat of getting caught up in a gang beef is just another reason to avoid it. I heard the victim was hiding in Pier 1 and got chased out by the suspects. Can you imagine the poor staff working there? We care more about a meaningless “Sanctuary” designation than we do about helping ICE get rid of the gangs in our community. We car more about hurt feelings than we care about hurt lives.

SCPD Busts Local Drug Dealers After Attempted Homicide on Pacific and Laurel

While executing a search warrant last week at a home in the 100 block of Kennan Street as part of an investigation into an attempted homicide, SCPD uncovered and busted a pretty significant drug dealing operation. SCPD and the Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) confiscated $36,500 in cash, 20 grams of methamphetamine, 1 pound of cocaine, 14 ounces of crack cocaine, 5 pounds of marijuana, numerous firearms, and dozens of rounds of ammunition. Santa Cruz Police arrested a 27 year old male and a 30 year old male, both from Santa Cruz. According to SCPD, the initial investigation occurred a few weeks ago when an attempted homicide occurred in the 700 block of Pacific Avenue. In that incident, a 33 year old man was shot once in the neck and was flown to a trauma center. Both men were identified as persons of interest in that case, but hadn’t been located. Last week, both men were spotted and arrested in the 200 block of Front Street. One was arrested for possession for sale of crack cocaine and methamphetamine. The other was arrested for possession of a loaded stolen firearm and a probation violation. Detectives interviewed both suspects regarding the earlier shooting and arrested one man for being the shooter in the attempted homicide. The other was released pending further investigation. A few days later, investigators served a search warrant on the 100 block of Kennan Street, where Officers seized the following evidence:

  • Loaded Sawed off .22 rifle
  • Loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic firearm
  • Homemade shotgun
  • Various rounds of Ammunition
  • Extended magazine for semi-automatic firearm
  • Stun gun
  • Money counter
  • $36,500 US Currency
  • 20 grams of methamphetamine
  • 1 pound of cocaine
  • 14 ounces of crack cocaine
  • Approximately 5 pounds of marijuana

I covered the earlier attempted homicide on Pacific a few weeks ago. See “Early Morning Shooting on Pacific Avenue“.

Ben Lomond Man Arrested for 21 Felonies

A Ben Lomond man is under arrest, accused by the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office of shooting a man in the face, dousing a woman with chemicals, and raping a woman, according to court documents. Twenty eight year old Austin Lee Combs entered a not guilty plea in court last week to 23 felony counts. Apparently the suspect and victim had a heated argument around 5:30AM at a house on Hihn Road in Ben Lomond. Combs allegedly then shot the 21 year old male victim in the face at close range. The severity of the shooting victim’s wounds required doctors to cut out his eye and tongue. Immediately after the shooting, Combs went on the run. Combs has been locked in the Santa Cruz County Jail since he was arrested by sheriff’s deputies in Boulder Creek on August 3rd. He has been charged with mayhem, attempted murder, rape, kidnapping, oral copulation by force, burglary, false imprisonment, making terrorist threats, brandishing a firearm, assault with chemicals, assault with a deadly weapon, and robbery.His bail was set at $600,000.

Stabbing in Front of the Homeless Services Center

Saturday night around 9:30PM, reports came in that a man had been stabbed in front of the Homeless Services Center at 115 Coral street. The victim was described as a transient male who had been stabbed at least twice in the chest. The victim also refused to cooperate with SCPD after they arrived, and told them he couldn’t ID the person who stabbed him, or provide any description details. Terrific. SCPD sent at least 4 units to the scene and set up a perimeter. Maybe they also noticed that this particular block and the area along Sylvania is a COMPLETE SHIT SHOW THESE DAYS. It’s a HUGE, roaming homeless camp slash bike chop shop slash bum party EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s why there’s a gate out in front of the HSC now. It’s a war zone outside, but don’t call this place a “homeless magnet”. The victim was airlifted out of Skypark in Scotts Valley so the wounds had to be pretty serious if he had to be flown over the hill to a trauma center. SCPD did arrest a suspect in spite of the lack of help from the victim.

Bomb Threat Defused Along Highway One

Tuesday night around 8PM, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad was called by the CHP to detonate a pipe bomb after the device was found inside a Honda Accord during a traffic stop on Highway 1 near Morrissey Boulevard. A CHP officer spotted the suspect’s vehicle passing other vehicles on the right shoulder and made a stop of the vehicle. A search of the vehicle revealed a backpack with a pipe bomb inside. The bomb squad contained and detonated the device. The highway was closed about 10 minutes while the device was detonated. A 33 year old man and a 32 year old woman from Santa Cruz were arrested. Each faces charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a destructive device and drug charges related to methamphetamine according to CHP. The male’s bail was set at $15,000 while the woman’s bail was set at $20,000.

Drive By Shooting on East Cliff Drive

Monday night around 10:30PM, reports came in about a drive by shooting on the 1100 block of East Cliff drive. SCPD arrived and after interviewing the witness (who was almost a victim but the shots missed), the vehicle was described as a Black Nissan with 7-8 Hispanic males inside the vehicle. The shooter was described as a Hispanic male in his late teens. SCPD seemed pretty sure it was gang related. Tuesday night I heard reports of another drive by shooting (no victims) and the suspected vehicle description was again a Black Nissan.

Bomb Threat Briefly Closes Pacific Avenue

Sunday afternoon around 3:30PM, Pacific Avenue had to be briefly closed down near the Post Office while SCPD investigated a suspicious backpack that was left in front of Lulu Carpenter’s and possibly had some type of explosive device inside of it. Lulu’s, Jamba Juice, and Verve were all evacuated briefly until SCPD could clear the scene and package. The suspect was believed to be a transient female who allegedly made some sort of threat before leaving the backpack and walking away. She was later to found in front of the Vet’s Hall, where SCPD questioned her and arrested her. Turns out there was no device in the backpack and everything was reopened shortly after.

Body Found Near Front Street on Monday Morning

Monday morning around 11AM, reports came in about a dead body that was found behind a business in the 600 block of Front street (which is basically where Trader Joe’s is). Sounds like it could have been along the levee or on the River street side of the parking lot. The person who found the body reported a man that was “cold and not breathing”. When SCPD arrived, they confirmed it was DOA. No word on the cause of death but it didn’t sound as if it was the result of a violent crime. I heard rumors it was an overdose.

Santa Cruz Man Sets Trailer On Fire

Tuesday morning around 2AM, a resident of Pine Knoll Mobile Home Park off Capitola road admitted to lighting his couch on fire inside his Santa Cruz County mobile home. When firefighters arrived they found a travel trailer fully engulfed in flames. Thankfully, the fire was extinguished with minimal damage to neighboring mobile homes.The resident was found uninjured and was taken into custody, while the trailer itself was considered to be a total loss.

Burglary Suspect Arrested in Davenport

A man was arrested in Santa Cruz after deputies found multiple stolen items in a vehicle near Davenport. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said a visitor in the North Coast area discovered his car had been broken into last Sunday. The victim then saw the suspect in a vehicle with some of their stolen property. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the suspect was going through stolen personal items from other people when the victim confronted him. The two got into an argument and the suspect then took off on foot leaving the vehicle behind. The victim called 911 to report a burglary and a deputy in the area then spotted the suspect and chased him. The victim also chased after the suspect. The suspect was caught a short time later. The suspect faces possession of stolen property and several other charges. The Sheriff’s Office said there are six to eight victims of burglary so far and they’re working to identify other victims.

Driver Hits Light Pole at Mission and Chestnut

Monday afternoon around 3:30PM, reports came in that a a man in a pickup truck apparently hit a light pole in the intersection. SCPD reported he had lacerations to his face. The whole intersection was a mess as far as traffic goes. The driver wasn’t seriously injured.

Burglars Arrested in Corralitos

Saturday afternoon, two Deputies from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office were driving on the 1100 block of Eureka Canyon Road when they heard a residential alarm going off. When they stopped to conduct a security check, they noticed a door had been pried open. A witness informed the deputies that he observed a number of suspicious people exit a creek bed a few hundred yards from the home that had been burglarized. More deputies responded to the area and detained two men and two women who were in possession of property stolen from the residence, along with burglary tools and drug paraphernalia. All four were booked into County Jail.

Water Rescue at Steamer Lane

Saturday around 6PM, reports came in about a water rescue off of Steamer Lane. Fire and ambulance were dispatched to the scene, as well as SCPD. No word on the condition of the victim.

Prowler Arrested on the West Side

Saturday morning around 3:30AM, SCPD arrested a prowler on the 100 block of Beachview. Apparently he was possibly attempting to gain entry to a residence when SCPD arrived with multiple units and arrested the suspect at gunpoint.

Man in Median Throwing Rocks at Cars

Thursday morning around 9AM, reports came in that a transient male was standing in the median in the middle of Ocean street in front of the Valero throwing rocks at cars as they passed by. Welcome to Santa Cruz folks! Nothing welcomes our tourists like having local bums throw rocks at their windows as they slowly make their way down Ocean street.

Cafe Pergolesi Closing

I heard rumors recently that the venerable Cafe Pergolesi might be on it’s final days. I heard it might be closed by the end of this month. That would be sad. I know it attracts a certain element of “local flavor” that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But they have a great patio, good and relatively cheap beer and coffee, and it was always good for people watching. With Logos fading fast (and I called that closing despite my critics telling me I was wrong), and now possibly Perg going down, downtown Santa Cruz is taking some serious gut punches here. And I won’t mince my words here. The current owner admitted publicly that part of the reason for closing was the rampant, daily, non-stop issues with local homeless in and around his cafe. The bad behavior kind of homeless, not the poor innocent, down on their luck homeless. We don’t need a new parking garage downtown. All the long time local businesses are packing up and leaving downtown.

Free Pablo Cruise Concert at the Boardwalk

Bring on the Yacht Rock! From 1975 to 1985 the band toured the United States, Canada and Japan extensively, welcoming fans to “Climb Aboard The Good Ship Pablo Cruise.” With popular hits like “Watcha Gonna Do When She Says Goodbye” and “Love Will Find A Way,”, the band went on to sell several million albums and singles. Free shows at 6:30 and 8:30PM.

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  1. We need a report to CC by the new chief Cop as to WHO these gangs are and what the Hell he’s gonna do different to stop them. Maybe help from the Feds would take these people off our streets.

  2. Johnny at the Harbor

    Go Ben!!!!

  3. Our poor town. Transients chopping bikes at the post office, dangerous needles just about everywhere, stabbings, shootings, gang violence, stores closing down and a city government that doesn’t give a damn. What a sorry state of affairs.

  4. I’ve appreciated your take on things and your stories and information a great deal in the past. I want to tell you that I take great offense to your depiction of the community’s option to either be a Sanctuary city or help ICE get rid of gangs. You are doing harm to our community by perpetuating a false and derogatory stereotype that undocumented community members are criminals and gangsters. Sure, some of them fall into that category as do some of our documented citizens. Sanctuary status allows law abiding community members to feel safer working with police and reporting crime. It allows undocumented community members to feel safe identifying themselves to apply for college and jobs and driver’s licenses. Criminals are criminals and sanctuary status does nothing to protect them. Our current laws that apply to crime and gangs can be used regardless of documentation status.

    Please be aware that your words can reinforce or break down prejudice and stereotypes that have a real impact on people’s lives.

    • See, I even acknowledge my critics sometimes! Unfortunately, we’re gonna have to agree to disagree on this one. You claim I’m “doing harm to our community by perpetuating a false and derogatory stereotype that undocumented community members are criminals and gangsters”, when I don’t do this. You seem to be the one throwing a blanket generalization on this issue. Where have I said that? Where have i used the same kind of blanket generalization you just used? I’ve said, more than once, that I’m actually fine with our “sanctuary” status. What I hate is the way the city and county feel the need to put this on blast in the media and bring a lot of unwanted attention on this issue. And honestly, I’m really tired of people telling me “it makes the community safer by encouraging more engagement between SCPD and the undocumented community”. I’m calling total BS on that. In almost every case I hear about that involves gangs and the local Hispanic community, nobody EVER wants to help SCPD. Just tonight, there was a stabbing on River street and the victim didn’t want to even give his name after being stabbed, and refused to cooperate in any way. How is this “Sanctuary” status helping out here? It’s not. Nobody talks either way, whether we’re a “Sanctuary City” or not. It’s a false sense of security, and a red herring to avoid dealing with the root of the problem (gangs and bad behavior). But thanks for reading and commenting!

      • Again, you say “the local Hispanic community, nobody EVER wants to help….” What you are referring to is gang behavior, and this has nothing to do with Hispanic ethnicity nor Sanctuary status. Try editing to say, “gangs never want to help the SCPD.” That’s the point, isn’t it?

        • I AM referring to the local Hispanic community and local Hispanic gangs (like the Nortenos and Surenos) so I’m not backing down there. Are there non Hispanic gangs? Of course! I never said there wasn’t. Are they the focus of ICE locally. NO. Are they the people this “Sanctuary” status was created for? NO. My point continues to be how a political proclamation that means nothing, that’s just basically LIP SERVICE, undermines our public safety locally by providing nothing but LIP SERVICE. It throws the baby (ICE) out with the bathwater (fear mongering the Hispanic community). If you honestly think that having this “proclaimed status” (which is just pandering by local electeds) helps anyone but those running for re-election, then keep dreaming. The perceived benefits of this (more help for the police) doesn’t exist and the actual problems with it (a lack of federal aid in reducing gang violence) is felt daily and is self inflicted by local knobs like Krohn and Company.

  5. Sheryl, It’s common sense that there are more illegals in hispanic gangs than white or black gangs. Mankind is still largely segregated by continent and the Atlantic Ocean is a more daunting natural barrier than our southern border. Check the videos if the “yard” on any MSNBC Sunday TV shows that cover our West Coast prisons, and then try to convince yourself that there are more illegals in the white or black corners (of the “yard”) than among the hispanics with the white knee socks. Fortunately, ICE and the DOJ aren’t deporting as many hispanic criminals as they used to and are sending them to prison. This us how the Feds are really helping the Santa Cruz situation and you shouldn’t be so defensive cause it’s just a matter of geology, natural evolution of the races and the sociology oy safety among like racial communities. If Africa and Central / South America were switched, there would be a higher % of illegal blacks than browns in our prison “yards”. This is simply because a 100 yard river is less of a natural barrier than 1000 miles of Ocean. Ben was right; where else is a hispanic illegal gonna hide than in the hispanic community? Regardless of race, no one is going to rat out their neighbor gang member due of fear alone. Oh! Did I mention which continent grows all the cocaine? It’s just the way it is Sheryl. It’s not “stereotyping and prejudice”, as you said, its just a few million years of geographically separate racial evolution.

  6. Ben, even Jerry Brown is concerned about what a proposal to make California into a “sanctuary state” (whatever that is) would do or not do in regards to protecting people. Latino gangs are a scourge. Just look at the on again/off again violence in Salinas. Santa Cruz could become a Salinas, as could the state wherever Latino gangs feel comfortable to set up shop.

    • They seem pretty comfortable here. How many years have we been hearing about gangs and the issues they bring and what’s really been done to discourage them? We got all butt hurt over the only group that was actually removing them from the community. It’s like the Bearcat. We’re more afraid of the appearance than we are of the reason it’s here. Thanks Scruz for reading and commenting.

  7. VoiceOfSanity

    “Gracchus”: “This us how the Feds are really helping the Santa Cruz situation and you shouldn’t be so defensive cause it’s just a matter of geology, natural evolution of the races and the sociology oy safety among like racial communities.”

    Apparently White Supremacy is alive and well in SC. I want to offer some peaceful counterpoint to your… “opinion”… but frankly you’ve pissed me off so much that that’s not going to happen. Congratulations. Instead – Take your hate, ignorance and stupidity the hell out of Santa Cruz. We don’t want you here.

    • I let this one slide, but in the future, please try to avoid “personal” attacks. Attacking someone else’s opinion is fine, just try to avoid naming names or making it personal. Otherwise, I’ll have to start moderating. Which I hate doing. Thanks.

  8. At least Voice of Sanity (VOS), spelled my name right 🙂 and seemed to actually get my points – before devolving into anger and denial. Simply put, the Feds are here to help us reverse the mess that the globalists have created. No need to moderate Ben, VOS probably enjoys too much progressive pablum in his daily diet. I think he/she/it got its “knickers in a twist” since he/she/it can’t argue against the merits of the Gracchus logic.

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