The Weekly Dump 3.9.18

Man Shot in the Head Off 41st Avenue

Around 5PM on Wednesday afternoon, a man was shot multiple times with an infant in his car near the Beverly Fabrics and Safeway stores on 41st avenue in Soquel, according to information from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. An 18 year old man from San Jose is accused of shooting the victim in the parking lot. A deputy who happened to be in the Safeway parking lot heard the gunshots and located the victim as he saw the suspect leave in a Honda Fit. Sheriff’s deputies caught up to the fleeing suspect as he sped over Highway 1 to Soquel Avenue, where he lost control and smashed through a giant sign at Soquel One Auto Center. The suspect tried to flee on foot but deputies caught up with him after a good samaritan bystander tackled the suspect as he fled. After being arrested, a gun was located in the suspect’s car. The suspect was held without bail on a charge of attempted murder. The suspect apparently had injuries resulting from the wreck and was flown to a trauma center. The Sheriff’s Office also received information that the suspect might have been a suspect in a San Jose shooting earlier Wednesday, where a teenager was struck by gunfire. The victim, who was shot in the head, was taken to Dominican Hospital and was listed in critical condition on Thursday. The infant was not hurt in the shooting. When will we make public safety the most important discussion we can have right now? We talk ad nauseam about “affordable housing”, about the exploding homeless population, but public safety is like the 900 pound gorilla in the room that none of our city and county “leaders” (and I use that term very loosely) want to talk about. It’s not progressive or compassionate enough for their attention.

Shooting in Boulder Creek Early Friday Morning

Around 4AM last Friday, a 32 year old Brookdale man shot a 42 year old Boulder Creek man during an argument on Bear Creek Canyon Road, according to Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office reports. The suspect was arrested Friday night on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. The victim was treated and released from a local hospital a few hours after the shooting. The details of the shooting are unclear. Bail for the suspect was set at $25,000. Wow. Shoot a man and your bail is only $25K. That’s pathetic.

Local Gang Member Arrested With Loaded Handgun in Santa Cruz

Last Thursday, an 18 year old gang member was arrested with a loaded handgun in Santa Cruz. Members of the Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force were on their way to serve a weapons search warrant on the suspect when they spotted him driving Thursday afternoon. Officers pulled the suspect over on Soquel Avenue near La Fonda Avenue, and while searching the suspect’s car, they found a loaded 9mm semi-auto handgun in the center console. The suspect was arrested and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail.

Where’s ICE When You Need Them?

Last Friday night, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested two suspected gang members after they reportedly led officers on a high speed chase beginning in Soquel. Two deputies were patrolling Winkle Park when they saw a BMW they recognized from a previous gang-related investigation. The car sped off in an attempt to evade law enforcement officers, with one suspect attempting to flee on foot when the car stopped behind the 7-Eleven on Soquel drive. The driver was arrested along with two juveniles in the car. Eventually, the other suspect was found on Paul Sweet Road. A K9 officer found a loaded handgun on the corner of Soquel Drive and Mission Drive which was believed to have been tossed by one of the suspects. Both men were arrested for charges including gang participation, possession of a loaded firearm, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The two minors were released to family members with charges pending.

Decomposed Body Found Near Soquel High School

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office found a decomposed body near Soquel High School last week. Human remains were found in a wooden area north of the 4300 block of Soquel Drive. The decomposed body appeared to have been there for at least three months, according to the sheriff’s office. They believe the deceased was possibly a white man over 50 years-old and between 5’7 and 6’3 feet tall, with long red wavy hair kept in a pony tail.

Fallen Tree Blocks Both Lanes of Highway 17

Thursday night around 5PM, a tree apparently fell across both lanes of Highway 17 and shut down the freeway in both directions for about an hour. This is my worst nightmare every time I have to fly out of San Jose or SF. I hope nobody missed their flight here.

This One’s Not Very Bright

In the early morning hours last Friday, an SCPD Officer stopped a man for not having a bike light. A quick check showed that the man was on searchable probation, and when officers searched him they found more than half an ounce of methamphetamine and a digital scale in his jacket. SCPD arrested him for possession of a controlled substance. I’ll bet he’s out of jail already!

Breaking Bad in Santa Cruz County

Last Saturday night, a deputy with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office recognized and spotted an RV they were familiar with from previous criminal incidents. The Deputy made contact with a man and woman who were inside of the RV. The woman had outstanding warrants for her arrest, and the deputy also noticed drug paraphernalia was in plain view and visible inside of the vehicle. The resulting search of the vehicle located two loaded firearms, as well as evidence that methamphetamine was being sold. Both people were also convicted felons and prohibited from possessing firearms. Both were arrested for being felons in possession of firearms and possession of a controlled substance for sale. You know what else they both are? Poster children for a county probation program gone wrong.

Details Emerge on New Project Across From Dream Inn

I read recently details of the new development project that’s slated to go up in the current parking lot across the street from the Dream Inn at West Cliff and Bay streets. This week, the owners of the property at the northwest corner of West Cliff Drive and Bay Street submitted applications for permits to construct a four-story mixed use project consisting of two levels of underground parking, ground level commercial, and 89 residential condominium units. The property is currently a surface parking lot that serves the Dream Inn. The project proposes to include parking for both the Dream Inn and the new development as part of the two underground parking levels. I know plenty of NIMBY folks will cry about traffic, congestion, etc. But this sounds like an outstanding idea. West Cliff past Bay is notoriously empty of any kind of food options.

Sunset Inn Razed on Mission Street

If you happened to be driving along Mission street in West Santa Cruz, you probably noticed a huge pile of rubble where the Sunset Inn used to be at 2424 Mission. Last June, the City Council approved demolition of the 32 room Sunset Inn in order to move forward with the development of a new 60 room Hampton Inn, to be located on the same site.

501 Cedar Street Getting an Overhaul?

Last month, the Planning Department received an application for permits to convert the existing two-story commercial office building at 501 Cedar Street to a mixed-use building. The proposed new building would consist of two, two-bedroom apartments above a ground-floor restaurant with alcohol service and outdoor seating. The proposed remodel includes exterior improvements on all elevations to modernize the design of the building, and improvements at the commercial frontage to create outdoor dining space along Cedar Street. Good luck here. This is right across the street from the now shuttered Cafe Pergolesi, which had to close due to the rampant and out of control homeless issues on that corner. “Multiple calls to the police daily by us and letters to the mayor and City Council have not helped,” he said. “Hope the new police chief can fix this before more businesses go.” stated Karl Heiman, former owner of the Cafe Pergolesi.

 January Crime Statistics for City of Santa Cruz

The city of Santa Cruz recently updated their website with the monthly crime statistics for January of 2018. These numbers reflect the 31 day period of January 2018 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 here.

For January 2018

  • Homicide: 0
  • Rapes: 9
  • Robberies: 5
  • Aggravated Assaults: 26
  • Burglaries: 42
  • Larcenies: 228
  • Auto Thefts: 41
  • Arson: 3

The Happy Story of the Week

So I read some feedback recently that lamented the lack of “happy stories” in the Weekly Dump. I know every other local media outlet has the “happy stories” covered pretty well here, that’s about the only kind of news we ever seem to get. But I do take constructive criticism to heart, and each week, I’ll try to include at least one happy story. Hence, the name! – BD

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the City of Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation Department recently announced that the annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off raised a record $100,000 for programs of the Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation Department. The cook off took place last weekend at the Boardwalk, and has raised almost $1.5 million since 1981 when the event began. Loulou’s Griddle in the Middle from Monterey won the Best Professional Boston division. Midgley’s Public House from Stockton won the Best Professional Manhattan division.

Santa Cruz Music Festival

The Santa Cruz Music Festival takes over Pacific Avenue and the downtown area this weekend. Now in it’s 5th year, it brings two days of curated, music-focused programming across more than a dozen venues, with more than 100 local artists performing in public spaces and local businesses. I’m sure it will be a pretty cool event, but there’s no way in hell I’d step foot in San Lorenzo Park right now. It should be declared a HAZMAT site after the way the city mistreated and polluted it for the past 4 months.

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  1. Pamela Hersey

    Thank you for the one happy story. Frankly, I was going to unsubscribe. I want to hear about SC but it is always negative posts, it seems. So I will give it another week and look forward to happier, uplifting news.

    • haha, don’t hold your breath there! Keeping Santa Cruz “vibrantly honest” isn’t pretty or for the faint of heart. But thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Happier uplifting news? you can get that from other news sources that refuse to report or even acknowledge what’s occurring in our community. Perhaps this is not the site for you.

  2. I can get the events and fluff news from the Good Times or Sentinel. I go to your reporting for what is really going on in Santa Cruz, i.e. the crime reports. Your level of detailed reporting is truly appreciated by many of us. But it you can satisfy peoples’ need for fluff, go for it. You are doing a terrific job.

    • Thanks! Fluff doesn’t interest me in the least. Like you mentioned, people can drink the city sanctioned Kool-Aid from any number of local sources, like the Senile, KSBW, or KION. The truth is that anyone who follows the local mainstream media on social media knows that probably 60-70% of the “news” published locally by the mainstream media is syndicated and aggregated, non local crap stories. I fill a void here. I try to talk about the stuff the others don’t talk about. And it’s always local. It’s not all bad, but the bad stuff is shocking enough sometimes to make you think it is all bad.

  3. Thomas Powell

    Another great report. Thank you for your excellent efforts.

  4. Austin Twohig

    “Wow. Shoot a man and your bail is 25k.” When I was a kid I pushed a car in the SLV pool as a senior prank. My bail was set at 50k. That was nearly 20 years ago.

  5. You know who I am

    I got a bail of 25k for punching my ex husband……

  6. Johnnybitchin

    Continue to call it like ya say it Ben…and again, we can get all that Gucci shit by reading the Senile. We want the down and dirty facts concerning Santa Cruz and the surrounding cities. It’s getting so we need to watch our backs when going in the downtown area and are worried to leave our cars parked for fear of some BUM breaking out the wndows for a cigarette butt left in the ashtray…Wear your Flak vests people it aint your grannies Santa Cruz anymore…

  7. Does anyone have an update about this news story?

    “SANTA CRUZ – An accused child rapist from Watsonville was released from Santa Cruz County Jail on Tuesday after a Santa Cruz County Superior Court arraignment reduced his bail from $1 million to $200,000, according to jail records.” .

  8. I look forward to Santa Mierda every week. I support you efforts 100%, for those who don’t, leaving is a click away.

  9. Thanks Ben for keeping it real. Tourist season is coming, so they’ll be less news and more spin from the usual sources.

    • Thanks Kim! I agree. It’s not a coincidence that Camp Coonerty (RIP) was euthanized before “spring break” brought lots of folks to town for a visit. Same goes for sweeping the local homeless campers under the proverbial rug on River street. “Out of sight out of mind” is a failure as a solution here. Shoving people into a fenced with barbed wire dirt parking lot, in a place formerly known as the “boneyard”, is no solution at all. It’s another sorry assed response and reaction to a difficult issue, much of which the city actually brought on itself through decades of poor city management and policies.

  10. That new project across from Dream Inn does look nice. I was annoyed at the blocking of the La Bahia project. Santa Cruz could use some well thought out development that includes (actually) affordable housing.

    • Thanks Jules. Anyone who has lived here long enough to remember the complete dysfunction of the city’s role in the redevelopment of La Bahia can attest to what a mess that was. I’m no Barry Swenson fan in general, but I felt sorry for the guy here.

      • Let’s not forget one of the Founding Fathers of Local Progressivism – Gary Patton, who campaigned for re-election once by bragging that he had kept LaBahia from being turned into a luxury hotel back in the 70’s. Instead we have the La Cucaracha Inn.

      • I’m pretty sure the La Bahia project was approved. They just haven’t done anything about it yer.

  11. We need a Santa Cruz county detention center located in a remote area of California for non-violent drug offenders. It seems like some entrepreneurial outfit could make money contracting with the County to house violators for up to 90 days (reduced to 30 for AA attendance). Standard living conditions just a smidgen above the homeless encampment outside city hall. Contract should include a one-way bus ticket, issued upon violators release to anywhere in CA at least 200 miles from Santa Cruz County.

  12. Appreciate you sharing the actual happenings of our community ~ though brings me little comfort!
    I’m letting my teenager spend the weekend in SF ~ i won’t even let my teenager walk around anywhere in SC after dark! Says something about our community doesn’t it?
    Blow the fluff, spend your time giving us the low down !

  13. I love your posts, truth of Santa Cruz !! I have to agree with you about not stepping a foot down at the mess of yuck !!
    I will let you know, a friend and I were on the walking bridge over the mucky area. Just looking at the progress of the move out day. A ranger who was pretty upset, about getting out of his truck, (yes that is what he said) to come talk to us, threatened us with a citation for loitering. Yes loitering !!! Then he proceeded to tell us that he got better responses from camp connerty folks.
    Wow, we were pretty shocked by the whole thing. So, apparently you can not stand on the walking bridge over the hazmat area or you will get a citation. Hahaa. Gotta love it !!
    Thanks for all your great information !!

    • haha, this dope wanted to give you a ticket for “loitering” while a hundred homeless slobs that have been LOITERING in the park for 4 months have the city pick up their mess (on the taxpayer’s dime). Only in Santa Cruz. You can’t make this stuff up. Sounds like at least one Ranger is spending far too much time goofing off here. Thanks Paige.

  14. A thought. if the homeless were “refugees” would the city provide better accommodations?? Does the word “homeless” create a different civic response than “refugee”?? Just a thought.


    Anyone here in SC see the story about Monterey cops dumping vagrants in Salinas? All over KCRA up in Sac town this weekend. Looks like Salinas has the same dumping problem we have thanks to our “neighbors”. They actually got busted by the Mayor of Salinas!

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