The Weekly Dump 9.15.17

No Shooting Galleries in Santa Cruz

Last weekend, we found out that Santa Cruz had been removed from a list of possible cities who might potentially end up with a “safe injection site” (yes, I know it’s an oxymoron). This has to be one of the dumbest, most misguided bills I’ve ever seen. Talk about giving up on people! If you have money to fund this, you have money to fund more treatment programs. I know many folks locally were horrified to think this might happen here. And even though our local Board of Supervisors and city council both said they opposed any such program here, every time I heard it mentioned it always included the caveat “at this time”. Which is a thinly veiled way of saying it’s possible. Last week we learned that in an amended version of the bill, Santa Cruz had actually been removed from the list of possible locations, despite the fact that “progressive” idiots like State Senator Bill Monning supported it and voted in favor of it. Supporting this bill is a tacit admission that you failed, that you have no clue how to deal with the rampant issue of heroin and methamphetamine abuse, and finding a solution that actually helps people quit is harder than finding a solution that helps people kill themselves. And let’s not forget where the money comes from to fill those needles. It comes from crime. Bike theft. Larceny. Robbery. And who’s paying to fill those needles? We are. The collateral damage is already enormous, and the emotional toll on the community at large is at a breaking point here. And In late breaking news, the State Senate shot down the bill this week.

SCPD Storms the Homeless Services Center

Thursday morning around 8:30AM, I heard multiple reports that SCPD was out in force in and around the Homeless Services Center with assault rifles and guns drawn. The scuttlebutt I got was apparently there was a male in the area who was robbing other homeless people at gunpoint. Witnesses reported seeing 4-5 police cars staged along Coral street, with another 2-3 along River street. Details on this incident are few and far between, certainly nothing from the city, the mainstream media, or SCPD as of yet. But multiple witnesses reported seeing it go down. It sounded like they ended up catching the person responsible and I don’t believe anyone was hurt. Bums robbing bums at gunpoint. At the Homeless Services Center. BUM MAGNET. Has anyone driven along Coral street, or Sylvania lately. It’s a complete shit show, especially along the railroad tracks and along Sylvania near Costco. And what does the city do about it? Absolutely NOTHING. Oh wait, they actually do something. They encourage it by doing nothing to prevent it.

Bum With Moltov Cocktail Outside Holy Cross School

Wednesday morning around 10:45AM, a report came in that a male transient was standing outside Holy Cross school with a bottle of liquor that was on fire. Apparently, someone managed to extinguish the fire, but then the man was seen approaching the front doors of the school swinging a stick. Holy Cross teachers were concerned since the students were getting ready to be let outside for their PE class. SCPD sent a few units to the scene. SCPD also said the man (who I looked up and noticed was a serial recidivist) was familiar to them and they had to deal with his bad behavior less than an hour earlier. Speaking of kids in schools and the dangerous effects local transient recidivists and their bad behavior have on public safety, there’s this…..

Santa Cruz Mayor Doesn’t Care About Protecting Local Children

Soon to be former mayor (thank God!) Cynthia Chase really doesn’t care about protecting local children in Santa Cruz. I know that’s a pretty strong statement but her vote at the last city council meeting speaks volumes here. At the last city council meeting, an agenda item was up for a vote and she voted NO to increase protection for local schools and their kids. The agenda item sought to create “Schools Safety Enhancement Zones”, which would increase punishment for bad behavior in city parks located in close proximity to local schools. The item passed despite her NO vote by a vote of 4-3. I’m not surprised the ever clueless pair of Krohn and Brown voted no. But the mayor of our city? What a terrible look and a terrible message to send to the community. The fact is, she would rather coddle bums and transients and their bad behavior than protect local children from the rampant criminal activity that takes place daily in our city parks. That’s right, she would rather continue to allow the bums and their bad behavior to take over our local city parks. The story above this one shows why it’s needed. It’s obvious to me she really doesn’t care about public safety, and anything she says otherwise is just cliche platitudes and pandering lip service.

County Health Director Can’t Handle the Truth

And while we’re on the topic of the city council, did anyone catch County Health Director Arnie Leff at the last city council meeting? What a condescending, patronizing jackass this guy is. He’s been called out numerous times about the needle “exchange” (which it isn’t), not only by the public but by the Santa Cruz Grand Jury. He showed up to supposedly answer questions, but all he did was offer a stream of lame excuses and dubious data he referred to as “facts”. Thank God there were folks like council member Richelle Noroyan there willing to call him out on his bullshit, despite the fact he kept talking over her and “mansplaining”. This guy ignores the community concerns, while running a far from transparent, unaccountable needle giveaway that hands out hundreds of thousands of needles into the community every year. He is ground zero for the outrageous number of needles we find locally. He LIES constantly. He claims exact numbers of returned needles, yet we know for a fact the county doesn’t actually count needles returned. He claims a “one for one” exchange, and we know for a fact this is not the case in Santa Cruz. Why should we believe ANYTHING this clown says? He’s John Leopold’s chief apologist and spin “doctor” on this issue. This guy has to go. He’s a public safety hazard.

Home Invasion Robbery and Shooting Near Buena Vista Drive

Sunday afternoon, deputies responded to reports of gunshots in the area of Rancho Road and Buena Vista Drive. Deputies located a 37 year old male victim of a gunshot wound. The male was airlifted to a local trauma center where he was treated for his injuries. It was determined that an armed home invasion robbery had occurred. The victims alleged that multiple armed, masked males fled the scene as deputies arrived. Deputies saw four males fleeing from the scene on foot through a strawberry field. Watsonville PD, Santa Cruz PD, and CHP all assisted deputies in a search for the suspects. Deputies and officers located and detained four males hiding in a eucalyptus grove. Also located and recovered were multiple loaded firearms, masks, and other evidence. Two males were booked into County Jail on numerous felony charges, while the other two juvenile males were arrested and transported to Juvenile Hall. 

Santa Cruz Man Arrested After Threatening to Kill Relative With Handgun

Last Friday around 5:30PM, SCPD responded to a report of a man threatening to kill one of his relatives on the 400 block of Plateau Avenue, according to police reports. The 61 year old male suspect from Santa Cruz apparently held a .22 caliber gun to the victim’s chest and threatened to kill him. Another relative in the room who witnessed this barricaded himself in another room and called 911. SCPD brought in a member of their Crisis Negotiation Team, who was finally able to negotiate with the suspect and convince him to calm down and to come out of the house. Officers found a loaded gun used in the assault in the living room of the house, as well as several more guns inside the residence. The man was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and criminal threat with intent to terrorize.

Home Burglar Arrested 
Last Saturday around 2AM, SCPD responded to an interrupted residential burglary in the 600 block of Escalona Drive. The suspect apparently gained access inside the home through an unlocked sliding glass door. He fled the house when the startled residents confronted him. SCPD set up a perimeter in the neighborhood and the surrounding area but failed to locate the suspect at that time. About a half hour later, a different homeowner on the 100 block of Hollywood Avenue called to report another occupied residential burglary, and the suspect description matched the suspect they were looking for from Escalona Drive. SCPD patrol set up another perimeter and performed yard to yard searches but again the suspect eluded them. Shortly after that, someone called from the 100 block of Peyton Street to report a male subject running across Mission Street towards Walnut Avenue. Several units responded and SCPD were finally able to catch their suspect, a 40 year old male from Santa Cruz. Among the stolen items in the suspect’s possession was someone else’s driver’s license with an address that matched one of the homes that was burglarized. SCPD arrested him for burglary and possession of stolen property.

Weekly Bum Fight at Grant Street Park

Wednesday afternoon around 1PM, witnesses reported 2 males fighting at Grant Street park. They described seeing one suspect waving a needle at the other male. While they were fighting, witnesses also reported seeing a woman with a baby in a stroller screaming, who reportedly left the stroller in the middle of the street. By the time SCPD arrived, the fight was apparently over and nobody was arrested. No word if Child Protective Services was called (but they sure as hell should have been).

Your Daily Morning Junkie Detail Call

Tuesday morning around 10AM, a report came in about a male who was passed out in front of the “Parents Center” on the 500 block of Soquel avenue with a needle sticking out of his arm. I wonder if the needle sticking out of his arm came from County Health Services? I’d bet money on it. Our taxes were used to help kill this guy. I hope the county and the Board of Supervisors are proud of this.

Home Invasion on Westside

Around 10:30PM on Tuesday night, a male suspect reportedly broke a window and gained entrance to a house on the 300 block of John street. The suspect may have also pulled a gun on the resident. A neighbor also called SCPD and reported something was up at the residence after hearing a female screaming. The suspect also had an address listed as “115 Coral Street”. The address of the Homeless Services Center. How predictable.

Transient Breaks Into Home and Passes Out on Couch

Around 10:30AM on Tuesday morning, a report came in about a man who was passed out on a resident’s couch on the 100 block of Myrtle street. Nobody knew him and he didn’t live there. The residents of the home are UCSC students, who were apparently pretty freaked out from waking up to a strange man sleeping on their couch.

Possible Abduction at Safeway on Mission

Wednesday around 5:15PM, a witness described a “woman being shoved into a car by 2 males against her will” at the Safeway on Mission and Almar. She was reportedly yelling “let me go” as she was pushed into the vehicle. One of the males exited the vehicle while the other male left in the car with the female. SCPD sent multiple units to the scene with lights and sirens. Both males appeared to be transient according to witnesses at the scene. The plate on the vehicle came back to someone from Lodi. It didn’t sound like anyone was caught or arrested here.

Ryan Coonerty Gets a Vibrant Taste of Downtown

Let me first just say that what reportedly happened to Ryan is a terrible thing. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, including my critics and enemies alike. But the fact of the matter is IT HAPPENS TO REGULAR PEOPLE EVERY SINGLE DAY AND THEY DON’T GET THE KIND OF TREATMENT HE’S GETTING HERE. And it never makes the news. In fact, SCPD has a long history here of rarely responding and when they do, the overwhelming majority of the time nobody is arrested and nothing gets done. The bums might get a ride on the “County Shuttle” and the victims are left to fend for themselves, feeling as though the city, the county, the police, and the courts have failed them. I can’t tell you how many countless horror stories I’ve heard, and most of them were actually WORSE than what Ryan experienced. I hear these horror stories of people getting confronted, threatened, attacked by mentally ill and meth fueled transients downtown EVERY SINGLE DAY. So from a personal standpoint, It’s really hard for me to feel ANY empathy for Ryan here. It’s his (and his father’s before him) willful ignorance to the shit show that downtown Santa Cruz has become that helped foster and create the problem he just experienced. You reap what you sow. And let’s not forget this letter in the Senile recently from his wife patronizing the people complaining about the lack of public safety downtown by proclaiming “It would be nice if all the grown ups had the same courage to love our community”. I guess you could say the lack of concern and awareness here runs in the family.

So according to the Senile article, Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty was walking downtown when he confronted a transient tagging the Water Street bridge. After confronting the man, the man started threatening him. Coonerty called 911. According to reports, the 64 year old man, a known transient and frequent flyer on the “county shuffle” yelled obscenities and threats in Coonerty’s face. When confronted, he threatened to hunt Coonerty and his family, shoot Coonerty in the face, stab Coonerty and his family, and sodomize Coonerty and his mother, according to testimony by the responding Santa Cruz police officer. I’m betting since his last name is Coonerty, SCPD was there in in lightning fast time. SCPD then arrested the suspect on five felonies: two charges for prior prison terms, making threats, creating vandalism and having a serious prior felony. His criminal history includes DUI convictions in Solano County in 2010 and Santa Cruz County in 2014. These PRIOR convictions included causing great bodily injury in Solano County in 2010 and resisting an officer in Santa Cruz County in 2014, according to court documents. Don’t even get me started about why this guy, this known to SCPD serial recidivist, was even walking the streets. As of Tuesday, the man was still in custody at the Santa Cruz County Jail. His bail was set at $110,000. His next arraignment is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. Sept. 19 in Santa Cruz County Superior Court.

“I’ve had a lot of encounters asking folks to stop doing different behaviors, but I’ve never had one where somebody threatened violence so quickly,” Coonerty was quoted as saying. “It happens, but this is the first time anyone has gone over the top.”

GIVE ME A BREAK. IT HAPPENS TO REGULAR FOLKS DOWNTOWN EVERY SINGLE DAY. What a sad, pathetic response from our elected county “leader” here. This guy has CONSISTENTLY FAILED the citizens of Santa Cruz when it comes to public safety. He’d rather peddle his soft on crime positions as the city’s rep on the Board of Supervisors to pander for votes. Oh, and just by coincidence (or not), he just announced he’s running for re-election. I’d call the timing there pretty dubious. Maybe he’ll start to take the issue of rampant, aggressive criminal behavior by transients downtown seriously, but honestly, I doubt it. He’s had 3 years to make a difference here and he hasn’t done mierda.

City of Santa Cruz Releases August Crime Statistics

The city of Santa Cruz recently updated their website with the monthly crime statistics for August of 2017. These numbers reflect the 31 day period of August 2017 and are for the City of Santa Cruz only. They are a synopsis of the full report, which is compiled and published by SCPD and posted on the city’s website.

  • Rapes: 9
  • Robberies: 8
  • Aggravated Assaults: 27
  • Burglaries: 31
  • Larcenies: 328
  • Auto Thefts: 28
  • Arson: 2

The Weekly Seen

Somewhere in South County. What could possibly go wrong with letting people live in their cars?

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  1. Glad nothing bad happened to the Coonerty family. Sadly they experienced what too many of us do on a daily basis…
    Thanks for the freshness again

    • I’m glad nothing bad happened too. One small correction, I thought Emily Bernard was Ryan’s sister and she’s actually his wife. I corrected my mistake there. Apologies to his sister for the confusion.

  2. I am so angry about the ppl sharing stats that the crime rate is down. Perhaps crimes against ppl, ie murder, assault are down but every single one of my friends has been victimized by theft, vandalism, trespassers, and verbal assaults. All these crimes are important and should not be tolerated. Women are harassed- why is this tolerated?

  3. Ben- Great effort this week. I have just one comment:
    Drop. The. Mic.

  4. Ben – You’re fingers were sure on fire for this week’s superlative expose hammering away at the real Santa Cruz drug problem, its resultant and pathetic bad behavior and its lost-in-denial co-dependent Mayor Cynthia Chase – who must be on another planet focusing on Meirda she can’t do anything about instead of focusing on the drug problem that’s right in her face. We also need to get our new police chief out of the office and in front of the Chan 25 camera explaining how many Nortenos, Surenos, Redwoods, Mexican Mafia, Hells Angels, MS-13, etc. gang members he’s arrested last week to cut off the source of the insane drug malady that is destroying us. Why do we always hear our candy-ass Sentinel reporters using the phrase “gang related” shooting, stabbing, or assault. Let’s hear from our new Police Chief what “gangs” are REALLY here pushing drugs in Santa Cruz? They have names – don’t they? Of course its bad for business but maybe not for public safety!

  5. Don’t forget our lovely HEP A OUTBREAK ? Thanks for reporting all this.

  6. I saw this story last night after I already published this week. I just wanted to give a big shoutout and thanks to the fine folks over at Take Back Santa Cruz for your part in stopping this locally. Well done folks.

  7. Regarding the south county home invasion, there was a pretty lively discussion on the sheriff’s facebook page that claimed the victims have or had a large pot grow, visible to others in the neighborhood. What could possibly go wrong?

  8. I feel you are so on target regarding “shooting galleries” with your comment:

    “…finding a solution that actually helps people quit is harder than finding a solution that helps people kill themselves”

    As on so many other occasions you demonstrate that you are not a cold callous attacker of people who are down. Rather, it you are going to take a stand, decide what reality you can get behind. People will support saving lives. It’s just a matter of setting your sights a little higher, as I believe you have done!

    Thanks for fighting for the people who need help. Keep talking. Lot’s of people are listening!

  9. “City of Santa Cruz Releases August Crime Statistics
    The city of Santa Cruz recently updated their website with the monthly crime statistics for August of 2017. These numbers reflect the 31 day period of August 2017 and are for the City of Santa Cruz only. They are a synopsis of the full report, which is compiled and published by SCPD and posted on the city’s website.”
    > The link from above article in Santa Mierda has vanished. “The page you are looking for,, may have been removed, renamed, entered wrong, or is temporarily unavailable.” I’m sure it’s just coincidence.

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