In the latest Weekly Dump, a 15 year old is charged with the county’s first murder of 2018, a transient with an axe is arrested at Harvey West Park, things go south in Watsonville, a bunch of guns, drugs, and probation fails, the chief doesn’t want your dumb calls anymore, burglary on Fern, overdoses and tires, license plate readers coming to Soquel, Highway 1 racers crash, does anyone care about four twenty anymore?, I like Ike, the Happy Story of the Week, the Weekly Seen, and more!
Teenage Boy Arrested For Soquel Murder
In late breaking Thursday night news, a 15 year old male has been charged with last week’s murder off Soquel Avenue. He was apparently already in county jail on some kind of probation violation. 15 and in jail on a probation violation (and now facing murder charges) is no way to go through life! I’m sure we’ll get even less information than we got about the murder itself. We’re dealing with a juvenile here. But this “kid” needs to be tried as an adult and sent off to STATE prison if he’s guilty, not stuck in our county jail. The 15 year old suspect was in custody at the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall where he was being held for a probation violation arrest that occurred just a day after the murder on April 9th.
Homeless Tweeker With Axe Arrested in Front of Kids Playing Baseball at Harvey West Park
Wednesday afternoon around 3:30PM, I heard multiple reports about a high on meth homeless transient with a large dog attacking another sleeping homeless man with an axe in Harvey West Park. Yup, you read that right. A bum fight with an axe in Harvey West Park. Right next to the baseball fields that the CITY OF SANTA CRUZ wants you to send your kids to play on.
Apparently, he didn’t hit the other bum that was sleeping with the axe but he poked him with it a few times while swinging it around it a threatening manner. Then he stole a bag of drugs from the sleeping bum and tried to walk away screaming that he should have chopped his head off, but he was soon surrounded by Santa Cruz’s finest, who arrested him and took him into custody. Yeah, he was basically terrorizing young children and their families on a Wednesday afternoon in a local park in Santa Cruz. Hey, remember when Cynthia Chase, former mayor now running for re-election, decided to vote AGAINST stronger protection for local kids in our city parks? I remember. Lot’s of people I know sure remember. I’m never gonna let her live that vote down. Because it showed her true colors here. Pandering gone bad.
Things Go South in Watsonville
Things got crazy last Thursday night in South County after carjackers shot at Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies in Watsonville, leading to a tense, all night manhunt that ended with the arrest of three men early Friday morning in Corralitos. It all began Thursday night around 11PM when the victims of a previous armed carjacking saw their stolen vehicle and began following it while calling 911. A deputy picked up the vehicle on Green Valley Road in Watsonville, when one person began firing at the deputy from the vehicle. Shots were apparently also fired at the carjacking victim, but no one was injured.
Shortly after the shootings, the stolen car crashed on Travers Lane near Corralitos, and the group ran away on foot. Multiple agencies were involved in the search through the night, including the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office, Watsonville police, Santa Cruz police, the California Highway Patrol, and law enforcement from Santa Clara County. Monte Vista Christian School and Bradley Elementary School were put on lockdown for a short period of time, while some nearby residents were asked to shelter in place. The trio were finally caught along Pioneer Drive in Corralitos after a retired sheriff’s deputy spotted them hiding in a creek bed. The retired deputy fired warning shots into the air and the group surrendered.
Another Local Gang Member With a Gun
Thursday afternoon around 2:30PM, a Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sergeant tried to stop a male on a bicycle at the intersection of 38th Avenue and Reposa Avenue in Live Oak. The man immediately ran and began reaching into his waistband, where a loaded firearm was later discovered after the Sergeant was able to tackle the man to the ground with the help of a community member. The man was arrested for possession of a loaded firearm, resisting arrest, and a probation violation and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail. According to the Sheriffs office, this is the third firearm arrest made associated to gang members in the Live Oak area since March 1st. How’s that “sanctuary city” status working for you Santa Cruz? ICE might have already cleared some of these people out for us if we didn’t treat them like the enemy here. Instead, we get an already understaffed SCPD and Sheriffs department having to clean up the collateral damage of our local pandering politicians.
Local Man on Probation Found in Possession of Loaded Gun
Around 10PM last Thursday night, deputies with the Santa Cruz County Gang Enforcement team stopped a car in the area of Soquel Drive and Commercial Crossing for having expired registration and false registration tags. The driver also did not have a valid driver’s license. Gang Team deputies also learned a 21 year old passenger in the car was on probation. A deputy saw bullets in the back seat where the 21 year old on probation had been sitting. After searching the car deputies found a loaded .38 caliber revolver where the loose bullets were seen. The 21 year old suspect was arrested for a probation violation and for possession of a loaded gun. He was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail with a bail set to $25,000. I’m not sure what I find more offensive here. A 21 year old, already on probation, getting busted with a bunch of idiots that will revoke his probation or the $25K bail.
Local Gang Member Busted For Unregistered Firearm
Around 1PM on Saturday, the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team’s Gang Task Force arrested a Soquel man for having an unregistered firearm, having an illegal large capacity magazine, and reported gang affiliation. They found him at work after serving a search warrant on his home in the 2800 block of S. Rodeo Gulch Road. At his home, officers found an unregistered loaded 9mm semi-automatic firearm, and an illegal large capacity magazine under a mattress.
Junkies With Shotguns is a Bad Combination
This past Monday, a couple of Santa Cruz Sheriffs Office Deputies stopped 2 men and a woman near the county health services department off Emeline. That place the county hands out free needles to junkies. In the back of their truck was a loaded 12 gauge shotgun in plain sight. A subsequent search of the truck found additional ammunition, paraphernalia and narcotics. One man was found to have an outstanding warrant and all three were arrested. Outstanding!
The City (and the Police Chief) Doesn’t Want Your Dumb Calls Anymore
At the last Public Safety Committee meeting this past Monday, SCPD Chief Andy Mills discussed his plans to reduce service calls. Apparently, now SCPD sergeants will screen any calls officers are responding to. Mills said he is hoping, with the community’s help, to reduce the department’s call load even further, by filtering out low-priority calls from the 911 emergency line.
Many people in the community have voiced concerns about Mills leadership and his new approach to call reduction. For many years (and prior to Mills arrival here last year), the community was constantly told by the city and by SCPD to call 911 for any “police matter”. Now all of a sudden they don’t want you to call them for “everything”. I mean, I understand the cop in the street applies what I’d call “subjective” law enforcement all the time. Instead of writing that camping (trespass) ticket, they move them along. But this is different. This is SCPD subjectively deciding whether a call is worthy of a response, much different than writing a ticket or not. Much more than a ticket is potentially at stake here. And God forbid SCPD attempts to triage a call, fails to respond, and someone gets killed. That’s a huge liability for the city and will cost much more than any cost savings applied here. Doesn’t the city have an actuary giving them advice here?
At the meeting, Mills described these areas he already considers “low priority”.
• Non-injury vehicle collisions, unless a person is suspected of being under the influence or there is a brawl to separate.
• Recyclables theft. Officers in the area will respond, but if none are nearby, they may not immediately be pulled off their beats.
• Illegal daytime camping on public property (will be assigned to neighborhood policing teams).
• Panhandling (unless it occurs on road medians or is aggressive in nature).
Mills said he hopes to set up a city phone line that callers with non-emergency issues can be transferred to and leave a message for later response. City Manager Martín Bernal said the city is aiming to establish by May a new online customer response system that will allow citizens to report non-emergency issues.
I’m fine with that bulleted list and I’m fine with trying to reduce dumb calls. I know at least one pair of local wingnuts who would call SCPD about the dumbest shit (my cat ran away, etc.), multiple times a day, every day. I’m all for arresting people for being a 911 nuisance if it comes to that. My fear is the city is using this as just another way to reduce its overall operating costs in the face of a looming fiscal budget crisis. A reduction in calls for services, at least to the city manager, validates the lack of urgency in filling open positions within SCPD. Look, calls are down! We don’t really need more SCPD! Sorry, but that passes neither the eye or sniff test for me.
Burglary on Fern Street
Tuesday night around 11:30PM, there was a report of a burglary on the 100 block of Fern street. This is “bum central” by the way. Someone who lives in a trailer on the property saw someone attempting to break in the business. When SCPD arrived, they found the front window had been smashed in. After making entry and securing the scene, no suspects were found.
They Both Sell Tires!
Tuesday night around 11:30PM, I heard a report about a victim of a drug overdose on the sidewalk next to Lloyd’s Auto on River street. Fire and rescue was dispatched and apparently SCPD was in the middle of a shift change so there was a response delay. Oh, and the responding unit went to Wheelworks instead. Points for trying! No word on the condition or status of the victim, but I think fire and AMR arrived to the right location.
License Plate Readers Are Coming to Soquel Avenue
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office will be borrowing an automated license plate reader for a couple of weeks. Over the last two and a half months, there have been six incidences involving guns or gun violence, including one murder, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office is expecting to get the reader Friday morning and will start training right away. They say it should be in use within the week.
Highway One Street Race Results in Crash in South County
The California Highway Patrol is blaming a street race on Highway 1 for an accident that sent two men to the hospital early Tuesday morning. The crashes happened north of Highway 129 when a 19 year old man was driving his BMW south on Highway 1 collided with a Camaro driven by a 23 year old man. The BMW crashed through a guardrail, rolled over and landed on its wheels on West Beach Street. The Camaro struck the center median and a tree. One man suffered major injuries and was taken to Natividad Medical Center, while the other man suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Watsonville Hospital.
It’s Four Twenty Day! Does Anyone Really Care Anymore?
It’s been an annual tradition up at UCSC for far too long. For the past several years, it’s been the equivalent of beating a dead horse locally, although it provides SCPD and the local CHP with lots of opportunities to pull over buzzed drivers as they come down Bay street. But it’s hardly a matter of civil disobedience anymore. I’m sure masses of SCPD students and their stoner friends will still meet up in Porter Meadow on Friday afternoon and there will be a thick haze of smoke over the area. Big deal. The university will of course overreact with their reaction and presence.
Ike’s Love and Sandwiches Coming to Santa Cruz
Ike’s Love and Sandwiches is opening a new location in Santa Cruz in early May at 1318 Ocean Street, near the T-Mobile and Habit Burgers. The locations in San Francisco are very popular. I like Ike’s. Lots of choices, good bread, tasty spread. Coming soon to the top (or bottom, depending on perspective) of Ocean street.
The Happy Story of the Week
Apple has been found and returned to her rightful owner! In a story that had local dog owners and others in the community outraged, little Apple was stolen from an office on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz, when a woman just walked in and walked out with her. Apparently, tips led SCPD to a house in the beach flats area where the woman and dog were located. I have no idea if the thief was actually arrested here (probably not, this is Santa Cruz! She was probably given a cup of soup instead).
The Weekly Seen
Somewhere in south county along Highway 1 (yes, they all made it safely across)
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