The Weekly Dump 4.27.18

Just Another Spectacular Public Safety Failure Downtown

Around 7PM on Wednesday night, a woman fought off a stranger at the clock tower in downtown Santa Cruz who tried to rip off her clothes and rape her in broad daylight, in front of a number of onlookers and witnesses. The woman was walking past the clock tower on Pacific Avenue when a man jumped out, put her in a bear hug, and tried to pull down her pants as she fought back. He then stripped naked and began masturbating, according to police. The victim suffered bruises while struggling with the suspect and was very shaken up after the incident. Onlookers called 911 and when police arrived, the man tried to attack the officers, police said. The man was arrested on charges of attempted rape and assaulting a peace officer. Arrest records show that he was arrested just 24 hours before the clock tower attack. For jumping over a fence and trespassing. Where? At SCPD’s main station! He was arrested, held for 4 hours, then dumped by the county jail into downtown, where he walked a few blocks to the clock tower and tried to rape this innocent woman. You can thank the county and the open turnstiles at the county jail for this!

Here’s a first hand account of what happened:

“I was attacked on the corner of Pacific Ave right at the clock tower at 7:00pm while it was still daylight out. I was walking home from my work talking on the phone with my friend. When suddenly I felt somebody grab me from behind and push me to the floor. It was a (presumably) homeless man in his 40s, Asian. He ripped the button off of my jeans and tried to pull them down while I was pushing him off of me screaming at the top of my lungs “help me help me get him off of me!”. This lasted for at least two minutes until a car pulled to the side and a woman came out of the car and pulled me away from him. Other people came by and kicked him to get him off of me, as he was continuing to lunge at me as I was pulled into the car. At this moment he started to strip off all his clothes and started masturbating for everyone to see.

I called the police and went to the station and had him arrested. He fought back against the cops and ended up in the ER for resisting. I was brave for fighting him off of me for at least two minutes but I saw life and death in front of my eyes and I didn’t want to give up. I was in complete shock that this had happened to me on the normal walk and in such a public place. I feel as if our town is being taken over by the mentally ill and I want to be able to help him but at the same time we don’t have enough patrolling out there to keep us all safe. I was recognized by an officer today at breakfast and he came up to me to ask me if I was OK and to tell me he was disturbed by the case. He told me that the same man was just released two days prior after being arrested for jumping the fence at the police station. I think people are desensitized to homeless people screaming so they didn’t think twice about me screaming. No one came to my rescue for maybe almost 5 mins. I have bruises and cuts on my legs and I hit my head as he pushed me to the ground. Please be careful when your by yourself walking in this town it’s not safe”

Isn’t it time to fire our city manager yet? Is this, the new status quo, really acceptable to anyone here? What does Ryan Coonerty think of this? He’s the city rep on the county board of supervisors. He represents the city’s interest (or does he really?) when it comes to county matters. Who knows what he thinks. Dead air from Camp Coonerty. We get a whole lot of nothing from him as usual. And he wants you to re-elect him? Do you want 4 more years of this?

Santa Cruz Man Arrested For Murder in Watsonville

A Santa Cruz man is in jail, now charged with murder after a shooting last Friday in Watsonville. According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, a 39 year old man shot another man on Highway 129 and Industrial Road in an unincorporated area of Watsonville. Both the victim and suspect appeared in family court in Watsonville shortly before the shooting. Both men left the courthouse in different vehicles, and the victim was either driving or parked on Riverside Drive, near Industrial Road, when the suspect fired into his vehicle, according to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. An attempted murder charge against him was changed to murder, and the suspect remains in the Santa Cruz County Jail in lieu of $750,000 bail.

Outdoor World Employee Beaten With Skateboard by Shoplifter Near Downtown

This past Sunday around 7PM, a well known (at least to local Rangers) bum beat an employee at Outdoor World with a skateboard after he was caught shoplifting. Security cameras inside the store on River Street recorded the attack. The man was stealing items from the store when an employee asked him to return the items. The suspect threatened the employee, then struck him in the face with a skateboard, according to police. I’ve heard from a number of people, including at least one Downtown Ranger, who recognize and know who the guy is. Will that put him in jail? Doubtful.

Hooked at the Hook

Wednesday morning around 5AM, the CHP arrested an 18 year old man in the parking lot at the Hook on East Cliff Drive and 41st Avenue after it was determined the car he was sitting in had been recently stolen from Los Gatos. The teenager was already a convicted felon on probation. PROBATION FAIL! When they searched the Honda, they found a gun, methamphetamine, and stolen merchandise. The CHP requested probation officers search the suspect’s house in Ben Lomond, where they found various stolen property from over 30 victims of apparent vehicle burglary and identity theft in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties. The suspect was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail. His bail was listed at $10,000. He was charged with stealing a car, possessing drugs, and possessing stolen property. CHP investigators believe he is a serial car thief.

Let me repeat. Felon on probation. Found with a gun, meth and stolen property while sitting in a stolen car. $10,000 bail. Still wondering what the hell the problem is here and who’s responsible for it? Look no further than that number. And your local judge. Probably appointed by that senile dope of a Governor Jerry Brown. The same guy who gave us Props. 47 & 57, as well as AB109. Thank God for old age and term limits!

Like Dogs Marking Their Spot

Tuesday afternoon, Santa Cruz High School briefly went on lockdown after someone stepped out of a green SUV on the 500 block of Lincoln Street and pissed on the curb, causing a nearby resident to get mad and confront the person. Other people got out of the SUV and confronted the resident and the resident’s family members, causing a full on brawl. Witnesses told police at least one of the people from the SUV flashed a pistol in their waistband. Apparently, none of the parties involved are being cooperative with investigators, according to SCPD, and no one was arrested in the case by Tuesday afternoon.

The Man Bun Alone Should Have Been Enough to Arrest Him

This past Monday afternoon, a 22 year old Santa Cruz man was arrested by SCPD near Branciforte and Fairmount in a stolen BMW. When ordered to get out of the car, the man had to climb through a glass sunroof because apparently the battery was dead, which disabled the door locks (and that’s how he got in the car to begin with). The suspect also had an expensive stolen bicycle valued at over $3K in his possession. At the time of this arrest for auto theft, possession of stolen property and vandalism (damage to sunroof), the suspect was already on parole for prior theft-related charges. On parole. Is anyone really surprised?

Someone was Planning to Cook Some Meth Here

Monday afternoon, Santa Cruz City Park Rangers recovered a stolen tricycle and bicycle on Caltrans property along Highway 1 and the San Lorenzo River Levee. They also recovered two shopping carts of CVS merchandise that was worth over $1000. That’s a lot of cold medication.

Looking Like a Fool With His Pants on the Ground

Saturday night, Santa Cruz County Sheriffs deputies were called out to the 2800 block of Soquel Avenue for a report of a male prowler who was in someone’s back yard trying to jump their back fence into a storage area of a local business. After jumping the fence, apparently his baggy jeans got caught on the top of the chain link fence. He eventually managed to extricate himself and set off numerous alarms as he prowled around the storage area of the business.

When Deputies arrived, they found a male suspect about a quarter mile from the storage area who was running from the scene. He just happened to be in possession of items stolen from the business, and his pants happened to have a giant hole in them (pun intended). The stolen property was returned and the man was arrested for trespassing and petty theft.

Campers on the North Coast Get a Rude Awakening

Early Monday morning, a couple of Santa Cruz County Sheriffs Deputies were patrolling on the north coast, when they spoke with a man and woman sitting in their car on the side of the highway, who both had out of county warrants and were arrested. During a search of the vehicle, the deputies found meth and what they believed to be a stolen bike.

Our New Selective Enforcement in Action!

Sunday night around 10:15PM, a report came in about a woman who was passed out in a planter box along Pacific Avenue with her head hanging out in the street. Fire and medics responded. SCPD didn’t. They didn’t feel they were needed. And why would they feel as if they were needed? Why should we expect drunks to be taken off the streets of downtown? It’s an example of one of those new, “low priority” triaged calls we can come to expect from SCPD for the forseeable future. Not only fewer responses. Fewer arrests too! It’s a twofer!

Just More Status Quo on Mission Street

Sunday night around 10PM, a man seemingly high on drugs or suffering from a mental illness walked into Taco Bell on Mission screaming he wanted to kill everyone inside. Customers were complaining and the manager wanted the guy moved along after the man went outside and seemed to pass out against the wall. When SCPD arrived, they just moved the guy along. Nothing to see here folks!

Motorcyclist Killed in Head On Collision With Car Near Bonny Doon

Saturday afternoon around 2PM, CHP responded to a fatal accident in the area of Empire Grade Road and Smith Grade Road in Santa Cruz after a motorcyclist collided head on with a vehicle. A second motorcyclist also crashed in the same area about thirty minutes after the fatal accident. CHP said the second motorcyclist suffered major injuries and was airlifted to a Bay Area Hospital. No word yet on their condition.

Major Development Project Plans Submitted for Downtown Santa Cruz

The long neglected, red headed stepbrother to the Pacific Garden Mall is going to get a major facelift if plans by developer Owen Lawlor are approved by the city to construct a six-story mixed residential and commercial building on property bounded by Laurel Street, Pacific Avenue and Front Street. This particular corner has long been a public nuisance and a blight on downtown, anchored by the Taco Bell and Bonesios liquor store, as well as neighboring dive bars and a card room. The CVS on that corner is among the highest number of all SCPD service calls in the city.

With 205 planned residential units, and heights possibly reaching 85 feet, the building would be one of the city’s more significant recent housing developments. News of the proposed project was met with a spontaneous round of applause when it was delivered last week by Planning and Community Development Director Lee Butler at the Hotel Paradox. In the past decade, the city has averaged about 100 new residential units constructed a year, according to city. The updated city Downtown Plan, certified by the California Coastal Commission at its March 8th meeting, generally allows for increased building heights and encourages better connection to the nearby San Lorenzo River walkway while calling for improved pedestrian access.

In addition to this project, the developer has also submitted a preliminary application to combine parcels and build another six-story mixed-use development behind the current Metro Station, on 418, 428, 440, 504 and 508 Front St. This project would be the first riverside development proposed in decades, and is eligible to reach up to 70 feet in height and may include construction of 137 residential units. According to initial designs, the second floor of the project would be level with the top of the Riverwalk.

Setting People Up to Fail Here

I was watching some of this week’s city council meeting and I caught a woman who spoke about how she’s been homeless for the past 15 years, and since she moved up to Santa Cruz from San Diego a year ago (did you catch that?), she’s been struggling locally with her “homelessness”. She should be used to it by now. It’s been 15 years. When you’ve been homeless for 15 years, it’s a lifestyle choice. And she even acknowledged as much when she spoke in front of the city council. After she was done, the Mayor asked her what brought her to Santa Cruz from San Diego. She should have quit while she was ahead. She basically validated all of the criticism leveled at the city and county for creating a homeless “magnet” in Santa Cruz. And that’s exactly what happened here. The city and county, with their liberal on steroids mentality and their never ending need for grand social experiments that never work, are setting people like this poor woman up to fail here. She comes here homeless. We’re one of the most expensive zip codes in the country and housing is all but non-existent unless you can afford to buy a place. She has no job. She seemingly has family nearby who don’t offer her any kind of path out of her situation, created by a lot of false hope and idiot compassion. Our lack of tough love sets people like this up to fail hard. Nobody is coming to rescue this poor woman, yet that’s what she (and so many others like her) have come to expect through years of unaccountable entitlement from a city that refuses to say no.

The Happy Story of the Week

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  1. Insanity !!

    • What is it when you do the same thing over and over (take electing the same people over and over for example) and you fail (or they fail you) each time?

  2. I don’t know what’s scarier — the assault and attempted rape downtown or the fact that witnesses stood by and did nothing. Are we that jaded?

    • I don’t think it’s a matter of local people being jaded. I’d attest it more to what I’d call “homeless fatigue”. It’s become so common to see a tweeker having a mental meltdown, or see a mentally ill person running naked in the street, we don’t react with any degree of shock anymore. It’s like nothing really surprises us here anymore. We’re numb to the weird now. It is horrible it took so long for anyone to help. If I had been there, I can assure that would not have been the case and naked guy would have gotten the throat punch he so richly deserved here.

  3. do you guys think that ben lomond guy represents the average guy robbing people here? i assumed it was mostly “campers”… maybe it isnt PC to ask about averages-

    when a person posted about her van being stolen during a home robbery- she said the cops told her professional theives take a van in order to use it to rob another place. i assumed it was criminals camping on the beach-

    now im wondering if there are a bunch of people in the surrounding areas who go around raiding los gatos and santa cruz-

    cant believe the 10k bail or the guy who assaulted the store employee – and the attempted rape – cant believe it was another woman who had the guts to intervene- i might have but only because i carry pepper spray

    • I don’t know about average but one thing they all seem to have in common is a meth habit, and a need to find their next fix. That need usually involves robbing and stealing from people. Bike theft in Santa Cruz is seemingly well organized and profitable enough for the local low hanging fruit to get their daily fix off stealing high end bikes and their parts. We don’t do enough enough to discourage bad behavior. It’s as simple as that.

      • ok thx, i knew there was a problem with meth in the mountains but i didnt know it also led to so much robbery nearby- very scary and sad –

  4. Hello,
    I listen to KSCO on a regular basis in town. The owner recently came on with an infomercial regarding buying one hour of air time to speak about any topic of your liking as long as it doesn’t get the station sued or fined. First thing that came to mind was you and this website. You should get an hour of time and go there and talk about are county and what goes on here on a regular basis. You easily could raise awareness to hopefully start a meaningful conversation. I would be in support of possibly contributing financially, as others may be to. Please consider this. Thank you for what you do.

    • Thanks Andy! That’s a very generous offer you made. I have considered doing an accompanying “podcast” of the Weekly Dump, been thinking about it since last year. I’ve done some podcasting before but it’s been years, and it’s a lot of work to do on a regular basis. Writing this every week is a lot of work, but it’s a labor of love. I’m still trying to flesh out the podcast idea (from a content and production perspective), but maybe later this year I’ll try testing something if I’m inspired. Appreciate the kind words of support!

    • The new local public radio station KSQD will be starting up in a few months. They’ve been accepting proposals for shows. Maybe you (Ben) could consider that, maybe on a bi-weekly schedule or something that works for you. Honestly, the attack on the woman at the Clock Tower seems to call for some ACTION – a march on the police station perhaps or the City Council mtg? Santa Cruzans certainly like to march for issues that are further removed – how about showing that we’ve reached the breaking point here with parolees and repeat offenders? And will this guy continue to be working on the Downtown Streets Team? According to the Sentinel, he was a recent arrival in our town, so what happened to the claim that homeless services are for locals who are down on their luck?

  5. lol @ man bun

  6. Pull the clown bus around front as we have a slew of new riders to load up this week. When they get in some familiar faces on the city payroll …… will already be on board.

  7. signed!

  8. Signed it earlier – didn’t want you to think I didn’t care.

  9. Is there really only 2 choices for Sup role ballot ? And these 2 are not really choices they are public nuisance.

    What a joke

    • This is a well paying job, plenty of incredible benefits, and apparently you don’t have to work too hard. There is a small army of citizens who would support a reasonable candidate serious about this. I’d write a check in a heartbeat. If any of you want to explore this job, know that you will be supported.

      • I agree with mabel. The main caveat is you have to live within the 3rd district of Santa Cruz. The Third District stretches from 7th Avenue in Live Oak through the City of Santa Cruz and up the North Coast, including the communities of Davenport and Bonny Doon. We really need a moderate to run here. In fact, I don’t have much of a problem “position” wise with what Ryan likely supports. He just talks a lot, tells people what they want to hear, and moves on while nothing ever gets done. We’ve wasted 4 years waiting here. Have things improved in the past 4 years? No more status quo. I think an army of people would come out of hiding to support a no nonsense candidate. Hey Skindog, you out there?

  10. what do you think about all the high density plans? you mentioned some of it- someone just sent me this:

    i already hate high density- it was one of the reasons i moved here- didnt know this is a global goal for all of us- yuck! hope it fails like herding cats

  11. yeah im all about being eco friendly- but this UN thing is taking it waay too far


    someone posted this on nextdoor- just reposting! maybe everyone already saw it- very relevant to the crime blog and mental health/addiction theme here

  13. Muchas gracias por la mierda. It’s a sad state we are in here. You should run for mayor. Lock these dangerous people up!!!

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