It’s been an especially busy and crazy week with our espectáculo de mierda downtown. Of course we have to lead off with the psychotic criminal who tried to rape a woman in broad daylight at one of the busiest intersections downtown. Then there’s the Santa Cruz guy who murdered a guy in Watsonville last week. And let’s not forget the Outdoor World employee who got beaten in the face with a skateboard by a well known local bum. We’ve got guys getting hooked at the Hook, dogs marking their spot, bad man buns, shopping carts of stuff to cook meth with, looking like a fool with his pants on the ground, north coast campers busted, more selective enforcement, more status quo, motorcyclist killed near Bonny Doon, downtown’s new development plans move forward, setting up people to fail here, the Happy Story of the Week (and this one’s a real eye opener!), and more!
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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