In this edition of the Weekly Dump, we’ve got an update on the accused trio of child rapists, man with knife tased downtown, public safety committee gets an earful, robbery suspect arrested in Aptos, Jeep thief arrested in Soquel, “Double D” causes daily trouble, tweekers at the downtown library, dancing in the streets, bums line the Post Office, fire at Wilder Ranch, Surfer Magazine honors Santa Cruz, block party weekend, Circle Church sold, Santa Cruz Triathalon, Weekly Shoutouts, the Weekly Seen , and more!
New Charges For Doctor Accused of Raping Children
Accused child rapist Dr. James Kohut faces 32 new charges linked with raping children. He was already charged with 16 felonies tied to child molestation in 2003, 2014, 2016 and 2017, according to court documents. A new video filmed in Watsonville was recently introduced as evidence, and is the basis for the 32 new charges in the case. That video reportedly shows copulation, sodomy and other forced acts on children. For Kohut and the 2 women also accused of participating in the rape of children, each of them face a new bail of $15 million each, set by Judge Salazar this week. The three are accused in a child-rape ring that extended from Santa Cruz County to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Co-defendants Emily Stephens of Tucson, Arizona and Rashel Brandon of Watsonville were also present in court for the proceeding. Judge Salazar set a March 12th preliminary hearing date to receive updates in the case.
Man With Knife Tased Downtown After Resisting Arrest With SCPD
Wednesday afternoon around 2PM, a downtown Ranger was flagged down by a citizen about a male walking downtown with a knife in his hand. When the Ranger located the subject carrying the knife, he asked the man to put the knife away. The man ignored the Ranger’s request and continued walking into downtown. Shortly after that, SCPD Officers made contact with the man in a downtown parking lot, where he again refused to cooperate with SCPD. When Officers attempted to detain the suspect in handcuffs, the man actively resisted and tried to pull the knife on the officers, posing an immediate threat to the officers’ safety. The Ranger recognized the threat to the safety of the officers and reacted by deploying his Taser. The man continued to fight even after being hit by the Taser, but the effect was sufficient enough to allow officers to safely handcuff and arrest him. The man was arrested for outstanding warrants, carrying a concealed dagger, resisting arrest, and assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer. It’s also worth noting the suspect has been arrested 5 different times in the past 5 months. It’s too bad he kept getting released back to the street the 4 previous times he was arrested. It seems we have turnstiles on the doors of the county jail. Any bets how long until he’s back out on the street this time?
Public Safety Committee Gets an Earful From the Community
The city of Santa Cruz held a rare public safety committee meeting this past Monday night. The meeting itself was pretty well attended, and the best part was it was relatively free of the usual progressive wingnuts and their accompanying circus side show drama. The room was mostly full of community members concerned about public safety. About a dozen people spoke about their concerns about the city’s lack of priority when it comes to public safety. One by one, speakers told anecdotal stories of their concerns and often first hand experience being victimized by criminal recidivism. My personal favorite moment came when the mayor was called out for her vote at the recent city council meeting where she favored coddling bum behavior over the safety of local kids. I heard a quote later from a city council member who said “you never vote against kids”. Well “no duh” there. Unfortunately, the mayor missed that memo. Will anything come out of this meeting? History hasn’t exactly shown us that anything will, but I’m still optimistic that something might. If nothing else, it gave people a chance to vent.
Robbery Suspect Apprehended in Aptos
Monday morning around 1AM, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office deputies were sent to investigate a report of a robbery on the State Park Drive overpass. The victim was reportedly punched in the face by the suspect, who fled the scene with the victim’s backpack. After interviewing the victim and getting a description of the suspect, Deputies searched the nearby area and located the suspect on Searidge Road. The suspect was arrested for the robbery and booked into County Jail.
Stolen Jeep and Thief Both Found
Last Friday around 4am, a Jeep was stolen from Little Creek Road in Soquel. While Santa Cruz county sheriff’s deputies checked the area looking for it, one of them observed a matching vehicle in the Quick Stop Gas Station parking lot. The Deputy also observed a male who was known to be on probation for (you guessed it!) vehicle theft standing in front of the Quick Stop. A probation compliance check was conducted, and the male was found to be in possession of the keys to the stolen Jeep. The Jeep was returned to it’s rightful owner, and the male was arrested and booked into County Jail. Why bother? He was already out on probation for auto theft. It’s the County Shuffle in action!
Just Another Screaming Transient Recidivist Story
Sunday night around 10PM, reports came in about a white male in his fifties who was screaming out of control at the Lutheran Church on S. Morrissey at Gault. SCPD knew exactly who it was before even sending someone out there. This serial recidivist, I’ll just call him “Double D”, seemingly is arrested every day for something. Usually it’s drunk in public, or trespassing, or creating some kind of disturbance, running in traffic, etc. I can’t even guess how much money the city wastes just on this one guy for SCPD and EMS service calls, time spent at the sobering center, trips to Dominican, time spent in jail, and just officers time wasted having to make multiple service calls seemingly every single day on this one guy.
Angry Tweeker Takes Over Downtown Library
Monday morning around 10:30AM, reports came in that an angry tweeker was causing his usual morning disturbance at the downtown public library, otherwise known as the makeshift homeless services center. The suspect was reportedly ejected earlier that morning from the library for smoking drugs on the property. SCPD caught up with him and his shopping cart in the alley adjacent to the downtown parking garage. What are they gonna do? Nothing. Tell him to stay away from the library? Sure. That will work real well.
Dancing in the Streets
Around 3PM on Monday afternoon, reports came in that a man was dancing in the middle of Ocean street naked from the waist down. He was described as wearing layered shirts and no pants, dancing in the middle of traffic along Ocean Street. Welcome to Santa Cruz folks! If this is your first time visiting here, yes this is normal.
Transient Camps Along the Post Office Create Problems for Public Works
Thursday morning, members of Santa Cruz’s Public Works department had to call for SCPD assistance in moving along transient campers loitering along the fence on the Water street side of the Post Office. According to the report, there were “too many campers for them to deal with by themselves” and they needed access to the fence to do their jobs.
Wilder Ranch Brush Fire Quickly Contained by CAL Fire Crews
Sunday afternoon around 3PM, a small brush fire broke out near Wilder Ranch on the west side of Santa Cruz. The fire spread to about 2 acres before CAL Fire crews were able to contain it around 4:30PM. Crews remained on the scene after it was contained to monitor for hot spots. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Santa Cruz Named Second Best Surf Town in America
Surfer Magazine recently named Santa Cruz the “2nd Best Surf Town in America“. Haleiwa, Hawaii on the north shore of Oahu was named number one. Can’t argue with that one.
Block Parties All Around the City This Weekend!
Santa Cruz will see the Ninth Annual Santa Cruz Neighbors Citywide Block Party this Sunday, as nearly 40 neighborhoods plan to gather to share food and conversation on barricaded streets. Santa Cruz Neighbors, a volunteer nonprofit group connecting and helping to facilitate neighborhood groups, is organizing the city wide effort. City officials ranging from new police Chief Andy Mills to UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal are expected to make appearances at different parties. Neighborhoods across the city are advertising their block parties on Nextdoor.com, by email and with traditional fliers. The various block parties will take place from noon until 8PM. Santa Cruz Neighbors is a terrific group and this is a great way to get to know your neighbors!
Garfield Park Community Church Sold and in Escrow
Nonprofit directors for Garfield Park Community Church have accepted an offer to buy the 1.6 acre church property. The deal, in escrow since Friday, has not yet been finalized while the buyer investigates whether their long-term goals for the site are feasible. The property’s price tag and buyer remain as of yet unknown, though the site was listed for $3 million. A Disciple of Christ place of worship, in several forms, has sat at the circular plot since at least 1890, while neighborhood streets have been built in concentric circles around it. Prior to renovations and a formal renaming to Garfield Park Community Church in 2014, the place of worship was most recently dubbed the Circle Church. Coldwell Banker represented the church in the sale, and said the property generated significant interest with potential buyers. The zoning at the site could allow the space to be split into up to 10 separate single-family residential lots.
Santa Cruz Triathalon This Weekend
The 35th annual Santa Cruz Triathalon will be held this Sunday and the city of Santa Cruz has authorized temporary road closures and detours on the westside from 6:30AM until 1:30PM on Sunday. Proceeds from this event, which raised $64,000 last year, benefit local high school and college athletic programs.
Roads to be closed are:
– Bay Street between Lighthouse Avenue and West Cliff Drive
– West Cliff Drive from the Depot Park to Natural Bridges State Beach
– Delaware Avenue between Natural Bridges Drive and Swanton Boulevard
– Natural Bridges Drive between Delaware Avenue and Mission Street Extension
– Mission Street Extension between Western Drive and Shaffer Road
– Western Drive between Highway 1 and Mission Street Extension
– Beach Street between Washington Street and West Cliff Drive
Weekly shoutouts to everyone that spoke and came to the recent Public Safety Committee meeting this week, especially to Analicia Cube for publicly confronting and calling out the mayor over her vote last week favoring bums over kids. All of the speakers were great, at least all of the speakers I saw speak. And weekly shoutouts to David Terrazas and Richelle Noroyan for getting it.
The Weekly Seen
Slumber party (or should we call it a “Bumberparty”) in San Lorenzo Park gets broken up by Rangers and SCPD
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