So I heard the city is now waffling on the Camp Bernal closing date again. Spineless like jellyfish. But while they keep putting this off, one of their drug addled campers tried to kidnap an 11 year old boy from a city park this week! We’ve also got a guy with a knife taken down at gunpoint at Taco Bell, the city wants to double the size of the Homeless Services Center, SCPD parks their trailer at Gateway Plaza, a couple of Scotts Valley car chases with guns, fire torches Aptos home, naked guy trashes west side house, creeper at the local high school swim meet, Watsonville gang banger busted with assault rifle, getting pepper sprayed in the face by the bartender, and we have a new K9!

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Attempted Child Abduction Near Grant Street Park

Friday around 10AM, SCPD responded to a call about a possible kidnapping of a child near Grant Street park. A serial recidivist reportedly grabbed and dragged an 11 year old boy who was walking his dog nearby. Police said said the boy was dragged about 200 feet before he ran away screaming for help. His mother called police. Apparently the suspect was also throwing rocks at people. She’s originally from Modesto. She’s been arrested 13 times locally. She was arrested 2 weeks before this happened. She was arrested and charged with 2 felonies and a misdemeanor in this case and was in court on Wednesday morning.

And here’s the real kicker. She’s been living in Camp Bernal. Will she go back to the new River Street camp once the county kicks her out of jail and back to the curb yet again?

Knife Wielding Man Stopped at Gunpoint

Thursday night around 7:30PM, SCPD responded to a report of a disturbance at the Taco Bell on Mission street involving a man with a knife. They were able to take the guy down at gunpoint and arrest him.

The City of Santa Cruz Wants to Double the Size of the Homeless Services Center

In another one of those outrageous stories that nobody seems to be talking about, I got a tip from a friend that the city is in closed door negotiations to buy the property directly adjacent to the current Homeless Services Center at 115 Coral street. The city has been negotiating to buy the property at 125 Coral street, currently the home of Sea Berg Metal Fabricators. If the city is successful in purchasing this property, the intent is to use this location for a new homeless “navigation” center the county wants to open using money they received from the pending HEAP grant money.

Notice the top line item? “City of Santa Cruz land purchase for emergency shelter day services”

From a February 12th Closed Session meeting of the Santa Cruz city council discussing a potential land purchase of 125 Coral Street, next door to the current Homeless Services Center

From a March 26th Closed Session meeting of the Santa Cruz city council discussing a potential land purchase of 125 Coral Street, next door to the current Homeless Services Center

The proximity to the current Homeless Services Center as seen from Google Earth. It is literally next door and adjacent. 

So the county wants to open another homeless “day center” and stick it within the city limits. How predictable is this? Instead of putting one in another part of the county, say Scotts Valley or Felton, we end up with another one across the street from the current Camp Bernal we’re trying to get rid of. We can’t get out of our own way. And city manager Martin Bernal keeps blasting out emails about homelessness but never once does he talk about this. Nobody is talking about this. Except me. I’m talking about this.

SCPD Sets Up Shop in Camp Bernal

It came to my recent attention that SCPD has been parking their mobile trailer over in Camp Bernal on a regular basis, about three times per week as a way to hopefully deter crime in that area. Gateway Plaza businesses have requested the command unit to be stationed at the plaza more frequently than three days a week but so far they seem to be getting three. Police said the unit is helpful in case of medical emergencies as well. According to Chief Mills, there have been a lot of calls for service from SCPD for outstanding warrants, probation violations, drugs, weapons, and violence, as well as property related crime. He admits the camp has a high concentration of people with various criminal pasts, including many with a significant criminal history. Despite that grocery list of crime related service calls, Mills refused to call the camp a crime hot spot.

Driver Bails While Passengers Go to Jail

Sunday night around 6PM, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Deputies were trying to stop a car on Mt. Hermon Road when the driver decided he wasn’t pulling over and led deputies on a short pursuit which ended on Whispering Pines Drive. Two passengers were apprehended at the scene but the driver fled before they arrived. One of the passengers had a handgun on them. The driver wasn’t found or arrested.

Hit and Run With a Gun

Sunday afternoon, Scotts Valley Police helped Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies arrest two suspects who fled on foot following a pursuit and collision. One suspect had a loaded handgun.

Fire Destroys Aptos Home

A Sunday night fire on Valencia School Road, near Trout Gulch Road completely destroyed a home in Aptos. There were no reported injuries.

Naked Home Invasion Drama Ends Peacefully 

Friday night around 6:30PM, SCPD responded to a home on the 500 block of Meder drive off Western drive in Santa Cruz for a report of a possible home invasion burglary. When SCPD arrived, they could see a man inside the residence trashing the inside of the house. SCPD called for a dog from the county. At one point, the suspect took all his clothes off and was seen smoking drugs of some kind and raiding the home owners medicine cabinets of prescription meds. After far too much time of tolerating this tweeker’s nonsense, they finally managed to get him to come outside before arresting him. Drug fueled naked guy breaks into your home, steals your meds and trashes your house. Welcome to Santa Cruz!

Creeper at the High School Swim Meet 

Last Friday, apparently there was some creeper who was taking pictures at the high school swim meet between Harbor and Santa Cruz high schools. According to law enforcement, the 21 year old male was hiding in a porta-potty and was filming through a crack or a hole. Coaches noticed him hanging around and alerted law enforcement to his presence. He was arrested on the charges of child annoying and disorderly conduct in the restroom, both of which are misdemeanors. He wasn’t associated with either school or any of the swimmers. The incident triggered an email from the principal to parents explaining what happened.

High Risk Search Warrant Finds Assault Rifle in Attic

Wednesday morning around 7AM, Watsonville Police and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s department served a high risk search warrant on Green Meadow Drive in Watsonville. While clearing the apartment, they found a duffle bag in an attic space that contained an assault rifle. A 24 year old male with known gang affiliations who has prior felony convictions, including one involving a shooting was arrested.

Turning Red at the Med

Last Sunday night around 8:30PM, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Med, a local dive bar on the 200 block of Center street in Aptos after a patron was so drunk and violent he got pepper sprayed by the bartender. Once deputies found the guy, he resisted arrest and made threats to kill law enforcement while kicking the rear door of a Deputies vehicle so hard it caused the door frame to break. He was arrested and taken to the County Jail.

The New Dog

SCPD announced this past week they have a new K9! His name is Ryder and he was officially sworn in last Friday. Welcome Ryder!

The Santa Mierda Podcast Network

Be sure to check out the Santa Mierda Podcast Network! We’ve got the latest “Unfiltered” by yours truly, as well as a new podcast, “Untreated” from Sharona. You can find the Santa Mierda Podcast Network on SoundCloud. And Apple Music. And Spotify. It’s free so check it out and give it a listen! Next new podcast should be coming this Sunday night!

Check Out Our Twitter Feed for More Mierda!

Be sure to check out and follow our Twitter feed for even more mierda! Even though the Dump only comes your way once a week, I try to post breaking news and updates on other days as well. So check us out and follow us on Twitter for even more updates about real time news in Santa Cruz you might not otherwise hear about.

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26 Comments

The Weekly Dump 4.5.19

  1. instead of spending 1.4 M on making the city an even bigger landlord (how ironic i thought none of these guys believe in owning property?!) maybe put that money into forcing drug addicts to take opiod blockers. all 10M of that money should go to security to make the shelters safe for people who need them, and an opiod blocker program so people can clean up long enough to see they are trashing their own lives!

  2. I swear if I did not live, I would not believe what goes on here !!
    Makes no sense to me, that we would open another homeless service center !! Are you kidding me ?? For goodness sakes what is wrong with this insanity?
    The city is making the business move on the corner of Hiway 9 and 1 and now Seaberg Metal is going to be another homeless service center. So the whole area is turning into a an insane asylum. I just can’t believe it.
    This place is absolutely dying inside!!! Even though the activists say Seattle is Dying is a “fear mongering segment ” it makes my head spin !!
    Thank you again for all mierda that happens here in Santa Cruz.😬

    1. Thanks Paige. Conventional wisdom seems to be rare in our local city and county government. It’s all about pandering and job security.

  3. I don’t understand- the city is claiming eminent domain and trying to force Central Home Supply to sell their land for highway widening and at the same time buying land in the same area to expand the Homeless Center? Sees like a law suit waiting to happen.

    1. The short answer appears to be Yes. But 2 different projects with different sources of funding. I have no idea how much money the city would be on the hook for with this new Coral street expanded day center. But from the HEAP allocation list, the city is set to get 1.4 million dollars for property acquisition for this. And one other thing to mention here I should have also mentioned in the story above. The city APPLIED for this. “RFP” stands for “Request For Proposal”, meaning the county asked if anyone wanted the money for something and the city applied for this new money to buy this property and expand the HSC to twice its current size. Remember that point. The city applied for this money FROM the county. The city wants this homeless “campus” expansion at 1 and 9.

      1. I believe that the HSC still has not recovered its Federal grants because it wasn’t actually housing the “homeless.” Now they want to double their space thus doubling the criminal and vagrant impact for the neighborhood while increasing the likelihood of causing more fatal pedestrian accidents due to the increase of “patrons” crossing 1 and 9.

        What’s the definition of insanity?

      2. “Remember that point. The city applied for this money FROM the county. The city wants this homeless “campus” expansion at 1 and 9.”

        Got it. Now that’s REALLY interesting.

  4. Please call the gateway camp what it is drug camp! Everyone calls it homeless camp. Fuck that!! It’s a drug and crime camp. !!! All they want is drugs and will do anything to get it!
    Why can’t everyone see the real problem! What a bunch of fucking idiots!
    Drug camp!!

    1. Thank you Drug Camp. I’ve been saying for months that the biggest problem is the drugs that gets sold to the people in the homeless camp. Why isn’t Sheriff Mills following up and arresting the dealers . He’s got the police mobile command center parked right out front of all this drug activity? Are the cops blind? All they have to do is find out from the users who sold him the drugs and then arrest the drug dealers and work their way up the ladder to the people that run the gangs that are selling the drugs in our city.

      Drugs are also the cause the meth fueled problems that pepper Ben’s reporting each week – like the guy kicking the back door of the police car at the Med. How come we never hear about City or County Police busting the gangs that sell the drugs to the people in Drug Camp? The only time gangs are ever busted seem to be when ICE step in and then our feckless Sheriff refuses to participate. Drugs are certainly coming from local biker gangs and Mexican drug cartels. Right? This is why the whole border security situation is a root cause of what we see in Drug Camp.

      I am happy you are calling it Drug Camp – and I will start doing the same because we will be One Step Closer to the solution when we admit what the symptoms are.

      When’s the last time anybody heard about Sheriff Mills busting drug dealers? Also when’s the last time anybody heard an actual gang name mentioned. The Press only ever reports “gang related” [ shootings stabbings fights felony evading Etc] – but never the specific name of the Gang. Is it possible that the police and press are intimidated and afraid of their life if they start mentioning specific gangs? Of course they are and who the hell wouldn’t be when we read about what MS13 does all over the country and watch shows about being locked in prison on TV every night.

      This is like the lunatics running the Asylum with nobody talking about the elephant in the room. Thank you Drug Camp. I’m sure Ben will have important comments on your insights also.

      1. I wonder which gang this guy was buying his drugs from and whether our feckless police even bothered to ask. And if they do ever find out – whether they ever mention the “name” of the Gang that sold the drugs to the people in Drug camp? Nice to know whether they were Northerners, Southerners, Mexican Mafia, MS-13 or one of our many drug-dealing biker gangs whose names we all know by heart.

      2. the most important thing to do in any “homeless” area, sanctioned or unsanctioned, would be to get the drugs out of there. any police presence should have those dogs trained to locate narcotics. do we want these people to get well or not? the dealers are parasites preying on the some of the most sick and vulnerable members of society. the drug dealing is so lucrative and so prevalent, you dont have to be here long to hear about guy a. with the construction company who uses it to launder millions in sales of drug money or guy b. who sells drugs as a side job while he is at his formal job… the list goes on and on.

        if the cost of living is so prohibitively high in this area, why do so many people have disposable income for narcotics??? why are the sales so damn high? people cant just have a beer and a joint anymore they all have to go crazy? rargh.

  5. I do appreciate your reporting the crazy doings of the City Council and the problems with drug addicts running loose in the so-called homeless camps. I think we need more locked psych beds as well as forced drug treatment instead of free needles. The cops don’t want to just go to all the trouble to arrest these folks just to see them trash the police cars and jail cells and then get released to prey on society within hours. Too bad we can’t provide the care and treatment that is needed instead of just herding folks into a “camp”. Weed out the criminals from the drug addicted….I know, easy for me to say. But thanks to Ben for keeping some of this info out to the public. Maybe change will come.

      1. it would be nice if lauras law were implemented for extreme cases such as extreme drug use accompanied by aggressive or drug related recidivism- get an opiod blocker program (supposedly there is a relatively new drug to block a meth high as well) –

        state mandated drug blocker meds for people who obviously need it. do u want ur disability check? then u have to show up and take the meds that block ur disability…when people sober up they will realize that moldy muddy tent next to the highway is not the best that life has to offer.

  6. Laura’s law is certainly the way to go Ben. But realistically we have little chance of ever getting it passed in this world of “woke” — where praying at the altar of social correctness is all that matters.

  7. It would take hard work and dedication and money to even THINK of implementing something like Laura’s Law. There is probably some breaking point where the politicians would risk forcing treatment but we are not there yet or even close…giving out tents and needles is less controversial and probable thought to be cheeper but it is also cruel IMO. Thx for your work and information.

  8. You know I called the k-rap out of this one last week when I predicted they would appoint a task force, this time called “Expert Panel” to study the homeless issue, dodge the issue, transfer the blame for new bad decisions, and “educate ” the public.
    https://gallery.mailchimp.com/16ee789a5f9d9474c1aa1a7dd/files/cf354851-fb7c-4a79-be02-1eb544a2c025/City_Council_4_9_19.pdf

    As usual there is no recognition Santa Cruz suffers a relatively HORRENDOUS percentage of the homeless (500% more than state average) because bad decisions have been made, and they are going to make some more. Relatively too many homeless in too small a city. How hard is that to say?

    For me it isn’t nearly that complicated.

    Extra services MUST be placed outside the city, especially permanent ones, or they will turn the city into more of a shit hole than it is. I’m not saying there should not BE more services (there should be to get the SC county up to the level of shelter in neighboring counties, like 26% not 20%, and with special needs targeted addressing of sub-components of the homeless like addiction, crime, access to Federal poverty help and health).

    Keep the city as homeless county dump at this size or less, not more.
    Please not more.

  9. SC City & County have had more than 50 years to plan out this crucial area’s roads, easements and compatible uses…but did they provide HW with an obviously needed second egress? NO!
    Did they allow for extra lanes befor building the 3 story family shelter? NO!
    And now they want to displace one of the brst industrial firms in our area- Seaberg!
    And yes, they have fudged on delivering the homeless shelter housing that was long proposed!
    Shame on the town Clowncil and the top heavy overpaid NGOs that have nursed this monster
    for decades!

  10. Hey Ben always good to read your blog!! We need more no spin, non impotent liberal rage newsfeeds. I work in the gateway plaza and dealing with the reality of daily BS in this town seems like something out of a horror novel. Knowing all the problems citizens and taxpayers have to deal with only fall on the deaf-eared leaders of this city is appalling, especially considering we pay their salary. Our security guard was beaten last week by a camp bernal resident (unprovoked) ton the point of being sent to the hospital, and is now on leave with a dislocated shoulder. I have pics of the horrors that occur everyday my staff and I have to deal with– just going to work. (Let me know if you’re interested in viewing). Keep up the truth, someone has to, and all the love to you and your supporters. Thank you!! -spooky spectre

    1. I’m sorry for all the nightmare Camp Ross has caused you and your business. It should never have happened.

  11. Thank you Jane! It’s nice to know there are sane people out there (I’ll be it the “silenced majority”) who understand the backwards politics of this town. People like you give me a much needed reminder were not alone in this. Thank you for the much needed support!!!

  12. Attempted Child Abduction Near Grant Street Park…this is the kind of shit that will get somebody killed. C’mon City of Santa Cruz take care of this. You can’t possibly expect law abiding parents to stand by and allow you to take care of this crap when our kids are being assaulted.

  13. 300 to 600 fresh needles delivered daily likethd milk man used to!!!
    Harm reduction my a##!
    Call it IVHR….
    Intravenous Harm Reinforcement!

    1. Exactly! Reducing harm to users, increasing harm to everyone else who come across them. Cutting off the nose to spite the face type logic– or lack thereof

  14. The “Assault Rifle” they found in the attic was a Hi-Point 995TS carbine missing the grip fin. Probably one of the worst rifles made in modern times. It would be more useful as a club than actually shooting it. Hi-point? yeah, they go “Bang, click, thud” as in they shoot once and then you throw it at the person.

    Glad they found it as no convicted felon should have access to firearms, even if that firearm is more dangerous to the shooter than the person it’s aimed at.

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