Get Ready for New Years Eve in Downtown Santa Cruz
Next Monday night, people will inevitably flock to Pacific Avenue to ring in the new year at the clock tower in downtown Santa Cruz. It usually brings a couple thousand people downtown, many of them drunk, some of them bent on causing trouble. Personally, I could do without it but it’s not up to me. Public safety resources are already stretched so thin on that particular night, and we already do a big Halloween thing. Much depends on the weather. If it rains, maybe a few hundred will show up. If not, maybe a couple thousand. Just please, don’t drink and drive. Be safe, and celebrate in a manner that allows others to enjoy their NYE safely. And now, on to this week’s mayhem…
Local Pyromaniac Terrorizes Christmas Shoppers at Ross
Monday night around 7:30PM, a report came in about some transient bum fool at Ross who was taking a lighter to a can of spray paint and was blow torching the windows. He apparently ran off towards the levee before SCPD arrived. Camp Bernal! We broke it. We own it. Our plan is to just run the few remaining big box corporate stores left in the city out of town, cut our city revenue by losing property and retail taxes, and turn that shopping center into a “Gateway” for the homeless. Meanwhile, Ryan Coonerty and the rest of the county Board of Supervisors are nowhere to be found and happy the city wants to willingly take on this burden of theirs.
Watsonville Man Arrested For Attempted Rape of Mentally Disabled Minor
Last week, a Watsonville man was arrested for attempting to have sex with a mentally disabled 11 year old girl. According to Watsonville police, the 22 year old male was found alone inside a bathroom with the victim. The suspect, who rented a room from the victim’s family, admitted he wanted to have sex with the minor girl. Last month, the victim’s mother found the suspect and the girl inside a bathroom and contacted police. After investigating, detectives arrested the man for kidnapping with the intent to commit rape and lewd acts with a child. The man was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
This Week’s Story Nobody Wants To Talk About
This happy, smiling, dingleberry was arrested 2 days before Christmas on 17 charges, at least 6 of them felonies, including burglary, inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or family member, stalking, assault, mayhem, rape, violating a protective order, and not 1 but TWO PROBATION VIOLATIONS. And what does this threat to public safety get from the judge? No bail? Don’t make me laugh. $25K in bail. This is our reality. Where’s the news story? The press release? Anything? Never mind. I’ve got you covered.
Man on Probation Arrested With Gun and Meth
Wednesday morning around 11:30AM, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies rolled up on a suspicious group of people sitting in a car in Boulder Creek. One of the passengers was on probation and was subject to search, where they found he had a handgun hidden in his coat, as well as methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. He was charged with two felonies, carrying a loaded firearm in public and carrying a loaded firearm that did not belong to him, as well as three misdemeanors: probation violation, possession of paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance. He was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail with bail set at $25,000. Two felonies and 3 misdemeanors = $25K bail. That fuzzy math does not compute.
Hallucinating Woman Fires Gun Through Ceiling of RV
Thursday morning around 5:30AM, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a disturbance in Felton where they found a woman who was apparently suffering from drug induced hallucinations. While she was tripping, the woman got a handgun and pointed it at a friend inside of an RV (the one she was living in?). After a short struggle, the gun was fired into the ceiling of the RV. The shooter was arrested and charged with being a drug addict in possession of a firearm, a felony, and charged with a misdemeanor for being under the influence. She was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail with bail set at $25,000.
Aptos Village Liquors Robbed at Gunpoint
SWAT Teams and Candy Canes in Aptos!
Last Thursday night, Aptos Village Liquors on the 8000 block of Soquel Drive was robbed at gunpoint. The suspected robber was armed with a handgun and demanded money from the store clerk before evading authorities and got away with an undisclosed amount of money. Then early Saturday morning, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant related to the robbery at a Capitola apartment complex on 44th Avenue. Someone named on the warrant is apparently connected to the robbery, according to SCSO reports. The SCSO SWAT team assisted as deputies shut down 44th Avenue while they attempted to execute the warrant.
Nail Salon Robbed
Last Thursday night, I heard a report the Nail Salon on the 4100 block of Capitola Road was robbed. This was actually the same night and right around the same time that the nearby Aptos Liquor store was robbed. You’d think there was some kind of connection, but I’ve heard nothing from the local Sheriff or the local news media about this robbery. I have a picture though of the deputies at the scene so I know it happened.
The Weekly Tweekers With Guns Story
Last Thursday around 4:30AM, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the 4900 block of Highway 9 in Felton for a report of a woman who brandished a gun at her boyfriend, reportedly because she’s been constantly high on methamphetamine for the past two weeks. She was arrested for being under the influence of drugs and possession of a gun by an addict. A related search also turned up heroin.
Just Your Typical Friday Night in Downtown Santa Cruz
Friday night around 9PM, multiple reports came in about a drunk male at the clock tower who was walking into traffic, hitting cars, and threatening people. Witnesses called 911 as he climbed a nearby staircase and began throwing rocks and bottles at them. SCPD tried to catch him at the top of the stairs. I don’t think they did. Really makes me want to do my Christmas shopping downtown!
Waving a Knife Around Gets You Noticed
Last Friday around noon, a man standing on the roof of a car and waving a knife around forced police to shutdown South Green Valley Road between Harkins Slough and Green Meadow Drive for about an hour. Watsonville Police negotiators finally convinced the man to drop his weapon and give up. The suspect was arrested and taken to county jail.
Au Natural Bridges
Saturday night around 10:30PM, I heard a report that a male was passed out nude in a parking lot behind Toadal Fitness on the 2900 block of Mission Street. SCPD responded with fire and medical units. Hopefully someone brought him some clothes or at least a blanket. It was kind of chilly out that night.
Home Invasion Grinch Busted
Last Sunday, a woman was arrested for residential burglary after the resident found her in his Aptos home. After opening his bedroom door to check on a noise, he saw the suspect flee from the house but he managed to confront her outside. After a short chase, deputies managed to capture her. In the ensuing investigation, the suspect was seen on a neighbor’s surveillance camera peering into the house, then using nearby patio furniture to break into the house through an open window. She was booked into County Jail.
When the Walls Come Tumbling Down
Finally! After what seems like eternity for neighbors and residents living along the lower Ocean street corridor, the 350 Ocean Street Slums have been razed! This agujero de mierda has not only been a long festering hotbed of bad behavior, it’s the case study for poor city planning, permit, and code enforcement by the city of Santa Cruz. I have a friend who lives nearby. I asked them to give me a first hand report on how the tear down is going.
“Finally! This property has been a nightmare to us neighbors for decades. Approximately 7 years ago, the City approved the 4-story project without consulting us. Many neighbors fought it for traffic, parking, design, size, future upkeep, and my question was, Where are all the children going to play? Across the street at 7-Eleven? The flats? Levee? Ocean Street? Sad. Throughout the process, we learned, “You can’t fight City Hall.” We begged them to demolish it due to the OD’s, syringes, gangs and obvious fire hazards of illegally occupied tinder boxes. By the way, the lot was still inhabited by squatters last week! The city and the developer’s negligence to not inform neighbors on proposed projects was supposed to set a precedence.”
So I’m happy it’s FINALLY razed. I’m unhappy it took so freaking long to do it.
A Friend of Public Safety
I saw this press release put out a couple weeks ago by Supervisor Zach Friend’s office:
NEW SAFETY CENTER TO OPEN IN APTOS
The County of Santa Cruz is pleased to announce creation of a Mid-County safety center, which includes the relocation of an Aptos sheriff substation. To be opened in early 2019, the new center is the first multi-agency public safety center in the County and will be located in the new Aptos Village development. It will include a relocation of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office substation formerly located in the Rancho Del Mar shopping center, as well as offices for the Santa Cruz County District Attorney, Santa Cruz County Probation Department and County Supervisor Zach Friend. “Establishing essential services within our community helps increase public safety while furthering the connection between residents and their government,” Friend said. “Once completed, I look forward to welcoming residents to these offices.” The 3,200-square-foot space will including offices, equipment and meeting space and house an outreach center for the DA’s consumer affairs and environmental protection staff, probation staff, office hours for the Board of Supervisors and the relocated public safety substation. “I’m excited that my office, for the first time, will be able to meet with the people we work so hard to protect at a dedicated Mid-County location,” District Attorney Jeff Rosell said. “This is a wonderful contribution to public safety in Santa Cruz County.” “Once we move in and get settled, I look forward to hosting a grand opening community celebration for the new substation,” Sheriff Jim Hart said. “This new center will support public safety by providing deputies a place to conduct business and interact with the public, and will be a valuable community resource.”
The county obviously isn’t broke. Let’s start with that. So when they cry cash poor over the lack of drug and mental health treatment options provided by the county, remember that Zach Friend needs a new office in Aptos more than we need increased county spending on drug and mental health treatment options. The lack of treatment options, particularly for these 2 groups within the homeless community, likely account for the great majority of recidivist crime, as well as service calls from police, fire, and medical first responders within the city of Santa Cruz. Just another example of the county’s obliviousness on their impact to public safety within the city.
Watsonville Kids Have Their Gun Taken Away
Friday night around 10:30PM, two deputies were on patrol in Watsonville when they tried to stop a car for traffic violations. As the driver briefly pulled over, three males jumped out of the car and took off running on foot. The driver continued for a short distance before pulling over. After deputies detained the three people who ran away, they determined one was a juvenile, with a loaded handgun concealed in his pants pocket. He was arrested for being in possession of a concealed firearm and was taken to Juvenile Hall. Two other males who were in the car were arrested for local warrants. I guess we know why they bailed out of the car.
Like a Good Neighbor
Monday afternoon, a “good neighbor” in Soquel called the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office to report a vehicle break-in in their neighborhood. When Deputies responded to the area, they found two women in possession of items stolen from the vehicle, including a credit card and the title for the vehicle. Both were arrested for multiple crimes, including possession of stolen property, possession of a credit card with intent to defraud, and narcotics related charges.
DeCinzotized – Classic Steven DeCinzo
I heard the Oracle of Aptos has been seen spreading her needle love and idiot compassion around Camp Bernal. Find a new hobby that doesn’t involve killing people.
This is Us
It wasn’t that long ago these guys were filming here and looking for extras. I wrote about it back in August. Here’s a tease of the finished product, coming to theaters in March of 2019. This movie is going to be HUGE. Jordan Peele is already one of the hottest directors in Hollywood, and this trailer is terrifying. Santa Cruz is so known for The Lost Boys but this movie is going to blow that away as far as putting Santa Cruz on the movie location map.
Goodbye 2018. You’ve tortured me with endless noise about a mad, tweeting, man-child emperor who has no clothes on. Goodbye Governor Moonbeam, who has arguably done more to jeopardize public safety in California than anyone I can recall in recent memory. Goodbye to any pragmatic, common sense on the Santa Cruz city council, at least for the next 2 years. We broke it. We own it.
It’s almost over. We’ll see you next year!
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au natural bridges lol
Thank you for talking about public safety, .as that seems to be such a taboo subject !! Wonder why ?? A new idea that might show up around town from my dentist Dr. Sheppard, is a bumber sticker: Not my fault I voted for Paige Concannon, also, Not my fault I voted for Ashley Scontriano. Thank you !! Happy New Year !!?
“Don’t blame us. We didn’t vote for them”
Hhmmm. It looks like I could commit a wide variety of crimes at a flat bail rate of $25k. Do they have a layaway program? I’m asking for a friend.
ps: That movie trailer looks both awesome and terrifying.
The $25K bail for just about everything seems a bit odd to me too. There’s really no apparent method to the madness of our bail scheduling in Santa Cruz. Except to minimize how much time anyone spends in county jail.
Santa Cruz County Superior Court Bail & Fee Schedule for 2018:
Note: SB 10 (Bail Reform) takes effect soon. No more bail- just that sweet smell of freedom!
Just love the photo of candy-canes and SWAT teams….notice the decorations in the treetops and the deflated figures lying on the ground. Maybe they were “resisting”….JK, I truly appreciate our hard working law enforcers. Very thankless jobs. Thx to you too, Ben.
Thanks Leigh. It’s sad that SWAT has to work over the holidays. Much love and appreciation to all of our public safety stewards, who put their lives on the line every shift.
“Possession of a gun by an addict,” is this made up?
I never make stuff up. No need! The truth is stranger than fiction.
Sorry, I meant that they were charged with that, like it’s a crime.
Yes, it is already illegal for someone addicted to narcotics to buy or posses a firearm. It is on the federal form when you purchase a firearm.
I will refrain from stepping up on the soapbox.
Ben, I would like to thank you for your many contributions to the future generations and note some of your accomplishments in 2018.
1. I believe you have catalyzed the Senile editors to assign reporters [like Jessica York and Jondi Gumz] into reporting more on the bad side of Santa Cruz – that needs attention -instead of the usual Senile cover stories that paint a picture that everything is OK.
2. Jessica wrote a great piece today about the insanity of the City’s incompetence that lead up to Camp Bernal and concluded it with details of the November Parks and Recs November meeting where Commissioner Maggie Duncan Merrill caused a dust up by complaining the City should not have the ability to close any parks. This is notwithstanding that Ms Merrill is well known far left of left political figure in favor of open borders and legalizing all drugs and prostitution. Perhaps she’ll run for the City Council soon.
3. Where is Hugh? Can you get someone to cover the incompetence of the City Council and also future Parks and Recs meetings. They are both going to be sources of leading edge local government entertainment going forward – into which the citizenry may inquire.
4. The Senile is now publishing the police log – Bout Time – but it has nothing about the tweaker who shot into her RV roof and other stories that you cover. Is there a way to reconcile this. Is it possible that the police have their own selective way of looking at real facts.
5. All in all Ben. Happy New Year to you and keep up the good work and why isn’t anyone stopping the run-away cancerous growth of UCSC that the Senile accurately reported on this week. I think you have allies in reporters York and Gumz but perhaps a coordinated effort may be productive in the New Year.
Perhaps Camp Bernal can expand into Ross after they shut down and leave town. Then we can redub it “Camp Hep A” and put a proposed new Camp Hep A property tax on the next ballot to generate the funds needed to run it. Which I am certain would get passed, based upon the results of the last city election.
Anyone else besides me see the story line from “Escape From New York” slowly shaping up here in Santa Cruz? Perhaps the state and federal governments will just erect a wall around Santa Cruz and turn the whole place into a maximum security prison. That will eventually be cheaper than trying to turn this place around at whatever point the County and the City actually try and substantively do that.
Hmmm…I wonder if that’s the plan Tina Shull came up with: drive out the businesses in Gateway Plaza and replace them with a “permanent navigation center.”? It’s no secret that the city doesn’t concern themselves about revenue from local business…not when they can fraudulently pass sales tax measures and acquire bond money for parking garages we don’t want or need.
Escape from New York: there are so many fences and no trespass signs around town that we don’t even see them anymore. The City of Santa Cruz has been an impromptu jail for a while now.
I concur. If the City of Santa Cruz actually cared about business tax revenues, they would do everything in their power to keep people from sleeping, pissing and crapping on the business doorsteps. The opposite action, steeped in “compassion” appears to be norm in the City.
Thanks Ben for a more rounded view of what is going on in Santa Cruz. Happy New Year!!!