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!

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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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33 Comments

The Weekly Dump 4.20.18

  1. yay duck photo!- and way to go with the arrests/protecting live oak!

    someone said they dont like the idea of that license plate scanner because the city will sell our private driving habit data to fund the purchase of more technology. is that true? i was excited to hear about the recording until i read that.

    1. I doubt that’s true. It’s only being applied to a very small area (Soquel between Highway 1 and 41st). And that particular area is notoriously full of gang related crime, so if it helps reduce that, or catch more violent criminals, I’m all for it. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. WTF with all the guns, gangs and bums…….again. No control and growth proponents want to add many more people to the stew. If you don’t have safety and basic order working how is adding a lot more housing and bodies going to fix that?

    Seems like more and more that the Sanctuary designation is not working. There goes your affordable housing and here comes more gangs. It’s not easy to get info on S.C county but L.A. county spent $1.38 Billion on undocumented families in a 2 year span with the average family getting $24,000 a year in benefits. California….12% of national population dishing out over 30% of national welfare benefits and the highest percentage of poverty in the nation. We need some clear thinking centrist politicians who won’t keep giving the farm away, asking nothing in return, while the middle class picks up all the bills.

    1. I agree we need more moderate voices running our city government. 30 years of progressive socialism has put us here. Thanks dude!

  3. Looks like the Dreamer’s and Dreamer wantabe’s are tearing up the county again and the Police (SCPD) are just running around in circles…seems the only good busts anymore are by the Sheriff’s Department. When is Santa Cruz going to hire a Police Chief with some balls?? This pussy footing around with Bums, lowlifes, druggies and the run of the mill criminal has got to stop. Wake up people this liberal agenda in California has got to stop….

    1. It is interesting that the Sheriffs Department has been on a roll, doing some kick ass enforcement lately, while SCPD seems to be trying to figure itself out. I’m not saying that’s all on Mills though. His boss (Bernal) is the real problem here. Now maybe SCPD is also doing some kick ass enforcement lately and we just never hear about it. As I put this together every week, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to find public information about ongoing arrests and criminal investigations from SCPD in particular. Maybe there’s a lack of cases, or maybe there’s a lack of effort to communicate information about them. Thanks Johnny!

  4. i believe violence is a choice, regardless of income level- but there is some horrible poverty in the agricultural communities in this state. my friends mom had a job where she drove to rural cities to make sure the children of migrant workers got an education. if those kids were born here, what happens if we let them grow up illiterate? is that not going to lead to more crime and violence?

    what are we supposed to do, treat people who farm the fields like slaves? the average person picking the fields here- do they really have it that much better than the slaves did? how does the state or the country fix that? do you think the average american citizen wants to go work those fields? some immigrants do that because they know they might get a chance at a better life in the future – that is their only motivation.

    how much welfare does california get to subsidize agriculture? we all know farms get subsidies.

    and who is buying all the drugs from these gangs? who has more power, the consumer or the supplier? usually we say “follow the money” – people who purchase and use these drugs are the ones feeding the gangs.

    we need a middle ground with this stuff.. i am grateful for the food on my plate and anytime i drive past any group of people working those fields i just wonder how they keep at it. and i feel guilty that such a huge part of the economy is so stuck in the past.

    compare a guy growing strawberries in oxnard to a guy programming a computer in palo alto- how are those both employees in california/america? our country is a mess in a lot of ways but it isnt always so clear who is at fault or how to fix it.

    figure out how much those strawberries would cost you if the average farm worker got even 30k a year. we are all linked together with this stuff. if the state subsidized them so they could work the fields for 10k a year, and you could get cheap produce, we all got a piece of that welfare. the whole thing is a tangled mess.

    1. Hi Kris – part of the whole “sanctuary” thing is to have plenty of cheap labor to exploit which is why open borders are supported by the Chamber of Commerce and big business. There’s nothing noble about allowing people who lack the education to ever hold a self-supporting full-time job in the U.S. to enter this country legally or illegally. Most farm workers will never progress in their careers because they ARE subsidized by the state. Low wages equals free medical care and food stamps, and in the off season Unemployment benefits. Add in subsidized housing and the fact that many of these families get welfare by claiming that the father is not in the home (when he is) and the cost to Californians is huge. The cure for this is to stop importing people who can compete in today’s specialized job market. The shortage of unskilled labor will lead to a shortage of farm workers which in turn will expedite the process of mechanizing farm work so that less manual labor is needed. Meanwhile, we’re stuck with a large group of people who we’ll always have to support.

      1. doesnt the federal government subsidize the farms too? so you would say no imported workers either specialized or low end skillset, and would you also stop importing cheap goods? what do we do just shut out the whole world? how do you know farm work can be 100% mechanized? how much will we have to pay the mechanics to maintain those machines?

        would you also stop people from offshore tax shelters and investing? offshore banking? do people have to sell all of their out of country hotels to be a true american citizen? you cant close all the borders like that – it doesnt make any sense-

      2. and it isnt really cheap labor to exploit- you already showed how expensive it is. agriculture grew into what is it now- and maybe it needs to evolve into something better- but it wasnt some conspiracy theory to spend a lot of tax money-

      3. whatever we do to agriculture- i think we need to be cautious and try to evolve slowly- as opposed to saying sanctuary city all the time, and demanding some max exodus.

        people out in the fields are not living the high life. there is a base level of respect for fellow humans we need to have- whether they are americans or not-

        – when the robots take over agriculture- how expensive will they be? maybe that is the way to go in the long term- but studies have already shown that computers dont save us time and money even in the office. we spend so much time learning to use them, and so much money on updates and new tech.

    2. This is an old apologist formula as paying $30k a year would be a lot cheaper than all the extra law enforcement, welfare costs, housing costs, court costs, help agencies, multi level govt. jobs, so called non profit salaries and all the other costs associated with this issue. We need a guest worker program and a way to earn citizenship and it is not inhumane to expect some order in society. Third world countries have more immigrant enforcement than we do. Not facing problems leaves the rest of society footing the bills and stressed.

      We just cannot accommodate everyone as it strains all other services and why there’s no money left for infrastructure, roads, affordable housing and less govt. jobs means less unfunded retirements which drives up sales and other taxes such as the proposed new SC sales tax increase is designed to boost. On the county level, Don Lane’s and Fred Keeley’s new quest for higher county taxes of $250 million to fund affordable housing and oh yes….down payment assistance. Really?

      While no Trump fan at all, I at least noticed that after his inauguration, immigration began flowing more to the south and less to the north. That told me the myth that people cannot make it in their own countries while they were now trying to get back in, showed how little the savior elements of society really know. It’s the free stuff that makes it attractive here and those of us working get none of it and don’t want it either but we don’t want to keep paying on an unlimited and increasing basis.

  5. 911 calls….has any one thought that the calls for 911 are down because:
    The police just don’t show up!
    We handle stuff our own way!
    What is the point !
    These are 3 points that I
    hear time and time again.
    Ask Eureka how that worked out.
    I love the ducks !
    Another fabulous dump!!!!

    1. Thanks Paige. I agree with all of your points. As you said, it already happens every day (apathy towards calling SCPD), and will only get worse when people realize there’s no guarantee a call gets an actual response. I think the community response will likely amount to 1. Call SCPD and shortly after doing that 2. Don’t wait and just take matters into your own hands anyways. Up until now, people might be patient for SCPD to respond first before going all vigilante on someone. Now people will be far less patient and far more inclined to take matters into their own hands.

  6. do we ever group together with nearby counties for services? could that help the looming budget crisis? we have such a small population in this county- what about partnering with monterey county?

    i could understand if people didnt want to get absorbed by someone as huge as santa clara, but monterey is only 433,000 people. together we would have over 650k people. seems like better odds- how does santa cruz county afford anything with taxes from only 250k people …

    on the peninsula lots of cities got rid of some services and grouped together to use county services. im just not sure if counties ever group together in that way. maybe not really practical – just trying to learn more about the budget crisis

    1. I’m sure there are plenty of counties with populations of 250K (or less) that aren’t dealing with the looming fiscal budget disaster we’re dealing with. Probably because they are run by more fiscally moderate people. In Santa Cruz, “moderate” is a dirty word. It starts and ends there. Santa Cruz leaders don’t know how to say “no” when it comes to giving stuff away. Thanks kris.

  7. Hey Ben – is anyone out there going to make a serious effort to challenge our illustrious city council leaders in the upcoming election? Like everything these days we need a local movement against them like #TimesUpCityCouncil or #FireChiefMills. Or my favorite #BenDoverForCityCouncil.

    1. Pablo, I am willing and able to do those things! I am running for city council! I have had enough !! Ben should run also !!!

      1. Excellent point and reminder Judi. Thanks! I’ve started seeing at least one local judge candidate’s lawn signs popping up around town already.

  8. And I would vote for both of you if only I lived in the city instead of the county! Meanwhile, I remain troubled by a comment that you made in and earlier “Dump” Ben—that you will never vote for Coonerty for Supe; I agree, he’s worse than useless. But impossible as it may seem, Pleich is even worse than that. Has no one else shown an interest in that seat?

    1. I really haven’t heard of any other candidates yet, but it’s still early. It’s not that I think Steve Pleich is a good candidate. I just see him as the lesser of 2 evils here. With both of them, we know exactly what we’re getting. With Ryan, we’re getting a whole of nothing. A whole lot of status quo nothing. With Steve, we’d get lots of big, socialist ideas which likely won’t go anywhere. Steve would be on his own progressive island on the Board of Supervisors. I think if anything, he might force the others (at least 2 of them) to be more moderate just to counter how far left he swings. But Steve has one thing I feel Ryan lacks. Conviction. Steve has never wavered from what he believes is right. Ryan is constantly pandering and telling people what they want to hear from him. I know not everyone will agree with me here, and that’s ok. But I’m more like Steve (at least as far as having conviction about my positions and beliefs) than Ryan. Ryan’s lack of conviction (and yes, his constant pandering) is arguably the biggest reason I won’t vote for him. He’s all bark and no bite. And 4 years of his bark is more than enough for me.

  9. I work for the city and have ZERO respect for Andy Mills…Very few employees do. Morale is low and we are subjected daily to the unsavory behavior of the lazy dopers.

    I miss Kevin Vogel…he had a pulse on what was needed to make this town desirable…now it’s a shitshow

    1. I miss Kevin too. He’s a class act and was a fine Chief. I’ll bet he doesn’t miss the grind of his job and the constant meddling of dopes like Krohn and Posner.

  10. Great work again! I love this blog!

    I agree with City Insider. I also feel Deputy Chief Martinez was the natural choice. A man that grew up here, was on the Junior Life Guards, CSO, and then as a Santa Cruz police officer went back to school and earned his degree. He would have been this city’s first Latino Chief. Born and raised. What kind of politics brought in Mills with a background that you just have to Google to see how unsavory his tenor in Eureka was. I wish we could vote for the SCPD Chief and the City Manager. But I promise my voice will be heard during the election. Nice to meet you Paige. I’m interested.

    1. Thanks Jennifer. A number of my friends also really wanted Rick Martinez as well, and I had high hopes that going outside the department might shake up the status quo, but it’s obvious the ever present stink of status quo emanates directly from city hall. Shit rolls downhill. I like Rick a lot, so part of me is glad he’s not on the receiving end of all the backlash Mills is getting now.

  11. Paige: More info? Do you have a website for your campaign yet?
    Julie: that’s my concern as well. Ben said he would never vote for Coonerty and I respect that choice but I think Pleich could be worse. Sigh…

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