The Weekly Dump 10.6.17

Bullet Riddled Body Found Near Broadway Bridge in Downtown

Monday night around 11PM, an unconscious Hispanic man with no identification and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds was murdered near downtown Santa Cruz. SCPD was reportedly driving in the area of the San Lorenzo River levee and the Broadway bridge when they were flagged down Monday night. Officers found the victim and tried to revive the man but he was pronounced dead at the scene. I heard reports that this happened right on the San Lorenzo river levee and was “an obvious gang hit”. Witnesses reported seeing drugs on scene, and the victim was reportedly shot almost twenty times from at least two different weapons. Initially this was reported as fireworks, with no report of someone being injured for almost 30 minutes after the initial call. Several bullet casings were found in the area where the man died. Police say detectives were called to the crime scene to investigate the homicide. Nobody has been arrested, although the victim has since been identified as a local man who was “known to SCPD”, and had been arrested multiple times on drug charges as well as resisting arrest.

Burglary at Local Gun Shop in Watsonville

Early Wednesday morning, a large police presence was seen at Markley’s, an indoor shooting range and gun shop in Watsonville, after reports of a burglary. They were responding to an audible alarm and checking the area. When the owner arrived, they found evidence of forced entry by an intruder. Both the neighboring Hearts and Hands Christian Preschool and the Watsonville Center for Employment Training were placed on lockdown while the police activity took place. SCPD even sent the Bearcat down there just in case it was needed. The resulting standoff lasted almost 17 hours, as law enforcement were concerned someone might still be in the store and armed. Apparently a number of guns were stolen but nobody was found inside the store. The “Hearts and Hands Christian Preschool” is located next door to the local gun shop and firing range? Now that’s some city planning for you!

Man Assaults Peace Officer at Harbor High

Thursday evening, I heard multiple reports of a man who apparently assaulted either an SCPD officer or a Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputy, then evaded capture in the area of Harbor High School. I heard there were students at the school and it was placed on lockdown for a while. Numerous officers from SCPD and deputies from the SCSO mobilized around the school searching for the suspect, who they feared may have been armed with a gun. They eventually found him near the football stadium and took the man into custody.

Homeless Moved Out of the Levee

Santa Cruz Rangers have been making a more concerted effort recently to kick the local homeless squatters along the San Lorenzo River levee out of the area. It would be nice if they never let them move into the area to begin with. I’ve also heard the county building has begun a new safety patrol program due to the fact that county employees were constantly being hassled and threatened by vagrants loitering in the park area behind the county building. I’ve also heard the city (and probably the county reluctantly) are moving the local post office squatters away from the post office (notably along the Water street side) and telling them to go stay in the park (San Lorenzo), where now they’re apparently getting bum rushed from there. It’s the county shuffle! You know what I haven’t heard anything about? Putting them indoors somewhere. Getting more in-patient treatment programs for the mentally ill living on the streets.

Homeless Prohibited From Living Along Riverbed Move Into Santa Cruz Parks

Victim of Accident Dies

A person died Monday from injuries suffered in a traffic collision in Santa Cruz County, according to California Highway Patrol officials. The collision was first reported at 3:49 p.m. on state Highway 9 at Larkspur Street in the unincorporated community of Brookdale, north of Santa Cruz, CHP officials said. Following the collision, the victim was taken to a hospital where they later died of their injuries, CHP officials said.

Prowler on Sherman

Monday night around 9PM, a report came in that a prowler was reportedly rummaging through a number of back yards on the 100 block of Sherman near King street. The suspect seemed to be going through trash cans. A witness was reportedly holding a baseball bat out in front of their neighbor’s house.

Bum Fight at the National 9

Monday night around 8:15PM, I got a report of a bum fight at the National 9 at 130 Plymouth. Two males described as “inebriated” were reportedly physically fighting in the parking lot. Both men were described as drunk white males in their thirties named Eric.

Bum Toss From BSSC

Monday around 8PM, SCPD was called when a bum refused to leave Book Shop Santa Cruz. He ended up walking out the back door (on Front) while SCPD was coming in the front door (on Pacific). Doh! The old sneak out the back door trick.

Dubious Dad of the Week Award

Early Saturday morning, Deputies from the Santa Cruz County’s Sheriff’s Office noticed a black BMW parked in a no parking zone near Twin Lakes Beach. As the Deputies approached the car and spoke to the male driver, they also observed a firearm on the rear passenger floor board, along with an unrestrained two year old child in the back seat of the BMW near the firearm. Deputies retrieved the loaded firearm and a ski mask from the BMW. The male driver was placed under arrest for being in possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle and child endangerment. The child was released to the care and custody of a family member.

Board Thief Busted by Downtown Rangers

Wednesday afternoon, a couple of downtown Rangers recovered a stolen skateboard from a male suspect in San Lorenzo Park. The man in possession of the skateboard was charged with receiving known stolen property and was also served with a warrant from previous drug charges.

Santa Cruz Property Crime is Rising

Thefts dominated the roughly 9,500 property crimes in Santa Cruz County last year, the most in a decade according to California Department of Justice data gathered monthly from local law enforcement agencies. For the past four straight years, the City of Santa Cruz has had rising property crimes reported. The same has happened the last three years for all Santa Cruz County law enforcement.

More in the Senile.

Santa Cruz Courts Keep Failing the Community

I was pretty disgusted and dismayed to read this story. It’s been well documented and discussed ad nauseum about how our local, “progressive”, left of left judges locally have had an ongoing responsibility for the rampant “low hanging fruit” crime (I refuse to call it “nuisance” anymore, it’s all a nuisance). The levels of criminal recidivism locally is off the charts, likely some of the highest in the state. Voter led initiatives AB109, as well as Propositions 47 and 57 have created a human tsunami of low hanging fruit criminals and their bad behavior. And the jail is only so big and isn’t getting any bigger any time soon.

Bicyclist Hit By Car Near Soquel and 41st

Friday afternoon around 12:30PM, reports came in that a female bicyclist was hit by a white VW near Soquel Drive and 41st and suffered injuries to her face while riding her bike. CHP said the bicyclist was transported to Valley Medical Center. No word on her condition.

Open Streets on West Cliff This Weekend

Open Streets Santa Cruz returns to West Cliff Drive from 9AM until 2PM on Oct. 8 along West Cliff Drive. This free, family-friendly community-driven event will repurpose two miles of West Cliff so people may walk, bicycle, roll, play and dance in the street with no cars. West Cliff Drive will be closed to cars from mid-Lighthouse Field State Park (east of Columbia Street) to Natural Bridges State Park (at Swanton Boulevard, which will remain open). Along the route, attendees can enjoy interactive booths, snuggle with adoptable dogs and participate in performances, art projects and exercise demos.

Local Mental Health Non Profit and the City Find a Compromised Solution

Tuesday after months of negotiations between the Mental Health Client Action Network and residents of the area and the City of Santa Cruz, the non profit will remove it’s food pantry and add a security guard. Both concessions were made in order to receive funding from the city. Located at 1051 Cayuga St. near Seabright Avenue, nearby residents complained about nuisance crime that they associated with the nonprofit. The city conditionally granted $102,000 of community funding to the group contingent that it comply with conditions for the funding. The resolution included two major concessions from the nonprofit in its day-to-day operations:

• Agreeing to have a private security guard on site while the campus is open.

• Removing the food pantry program.

The guard will be paid for by the city and county, according to officials. The neighbors were concerned about noise, loitering, littering and public urination and defecation stemming from the action network participants. The Mental Health Client Action Network is a peer-run nonprofit  with more than 20 years of history. Its mission is to serve and empower people diagnosed and struggling with mental illness through a variety of services.

Puddles Bringing the Pity Party to the Rio Theatre

Puddles Pity Party is coming to the Rio Theatre on October 22nd! You can get tickets online here if they’re still available.

Preaching to the Choir

In 2014, Ryan Coonerty got 6173 votes to win his seat on the county board of supervisors. This was my “reach” on Facebook last week. Just for perspective and giggles. – BD

Weekly Shoutouts!

Happy birthday Maddy Middleton, who would have been 11 years old. Never forget.

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  1. When I called in to report what I was hoping were fireworks, I remember thinking, please, not gunshots, please…

    • That area around the Broadway bridge and the levee is notoriously bad for crime. Do we need any more validation than a bullet riddled corpse? And the new Chief says the public isn’t in any danger. Is he serious? Did they catch the guy who did this and just aren’t telling us? Please enlighten me how we’re not in any danger when a bullet riddled corpse turn up on the riverwalk and nobody is arrested for it?

      • I’d guess the chief knows more than he can say at the moment. I’d guess that the murder victim was targeted and that’s why he sees know general risk. If this erupts into all out gang warfare with drive by shootings then the general public may be at risk.

      • No doubt Ben.

    • Do you know where I can get more information on the Brookdale traffic accident? Thank you.

  2. Golf clap to the city for clearing squatters from along the levee. The dump ought to take a late afternoon drive up Highway 9 to Paradise Park and back. While I give the city some credit for vegetation clearing on the riverside of the highway, there’s still obviously camping activity. And across the highway, careful study will reveal numerous trails, trash piles, and glimpses of tarps and tents. Where’s the plan?

    • “where’s the plan?” is the million dollar question. How many years have we been asking that same question now? There is no plan. There’s just a series of status quo reactions (and occasionally over reactions) that just get handed down from the council and the board of supervisors.

    • What’s your plan other than bitching

      • Bitching is mostly approved here. As long as people don’t make it personal (unless the person is a public figure). And it’s free. Plans require a salary.

        • As they say, you must first acknowledge and recognize the problem before you can work on it. This problem has been ignored for decades, has grown and is almost out of control. My thanks and “atta boy” for starting this site. It is not my job to solve this problem. I didn’t create it. I don’t decide who becomes a City Council candidate and member but I vote. If you don’t show your displeasure, the City Manager, Council and police will continue to ignore the problem.

        • I have 2 plans. One I call the “WPA Plan”, where like the depression, unemployed men and women are sent to national and state parks to build trails etc. The second idea I call the “San Diego Plan”, where they put em all in a Tent City under temp medical Hep A crisis legal authority. A lot of this could be paid for by reduced police/fire overtime and lower ambulence expense. Once the bums are gone or contained in one spot, these expenses drop radically. Since half of all police time is spent on “bum herding” anyway, Chief Andy and fire Chiefs and Parks Chiefs and the City Manager should be tasked to do and “Overtime Analysis” to see how much money can be diverted to Tent Cities and our new SC WPA workteams. Also money from property forfeitures on drug gang arrests could be added to the pot.

      • If you live in Santa Cruz and think what you read here is just “bitching” you are not paying attention.

  3. Our local government (city manager, city council) is beyond inefficient. Why not build a mini-rail for transients, from the post office to San Loreno Park and other locations, with a special bike rack for all those stolen bikes? Why not meet each new transient at the bus stop with a giant teddy bear and a complimentary meth/heroin package, including 115 free needles and lots of helpful supplies? Not sure how to shoot up? Read the helpful step by step instructions our very cool and compassionate County health officials have prepared for you. So sick of it all.

  4. One thing I forgot to mention this week was the city’s “public rollout” of the Downtown Streets Team in Santa Cruz. I give Just Chip huge props and the lion’s share of the credit here for making this happen. Personally, I feel the city and county should have just stepped up all along to begin with, but they needed him to play show runner here before they dragged their feet (and wallets) in for the sake of the good PR it affords them. I’ve seen the team downtown cleaning up and I think it’s a great idea and hope for it’s continued success. One thing though does concern me, and that’s what is the city and/or county doing to help the participants in the street team store their belongings while they are working downtown? I know Brent Adams has been asking the same question here, but I haven’t seen anyone give an acceptable answer. It appears they leave their stuff lined up along the wall of the Post Office while a homeless woman volunteers her time to watch everyone’s stuff. I would hope the city and/or county would at least provide the equivalent of a “bike check” area, something enclosed and managed by some sort of volunteer or staff person. Correct me if I’m wrong here, or if anyone has information about this, please share it here.

  5. Johnny at the Harbor

    Wow…based on the complaints of county employees being harassed by the stinking BUMs in the areas around the Court House, what a great way to get out of Jury Duty!! You just write on the request “Based on all the BUMs in the area I dont feel safe going anyway near the Court house”….Something nees to happen to rid the whole area of those Lice ridden scum….good job again Ben….

  6. Thanks for this, the only place to go to find out what is REALLY going on in town. Here’s hoping your inquiring mind will find out what went on at 14th and Merrill in East Cliff last night (10/8/17). Lots of cops, a helicopter, I think Fire was dispatched for an injury – and then late last night word went around social media that it was all a false alarm. And I have come to think that yours is the only news outlet that I can believe. My fingers are crossed and I look forward to the next dump. Keep up this good work!

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