Court Ruling Delays Closure of Camp Bernal
Finally, we get adults making a common sense decision here! This Monday afternoon, something that should have happened six months ago finally happened. The Fire Chief, seemingly the only city leader with an actual spine, ordered Camp Bernal be shut down as a public nuisance. The city went to court to basically validate that decision in the court’s eyes. And that’s where Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick ruled that Camp Bernal must be vacated in 48 hours. According to Judge Burdick, the camp near the Gateway Plaza was “a public nuisance”. This comes after the Fire Chief publicly proclaimed the camp is a safety and health hazard. Emergency actions now have to be taken by the city to clear the camp. A fenced in area of San Lorenzo park is currently being set up to accommodate some of the squatters. The Santa Cruz city council met on Tuesday to try to figure out how to handle the complete shit show mess they made moving forward. A previously used city sanctioned location on River Street is supposed to re-open on April 30th, but we know how the city is with meeting deadlines. It doesn’t. The River Street location was closed last November due to the high cost to maintain it. And the best plan we have is to re-visit an option we closed last year? How freaking visionary and pragmatic!
The city sits on one side. Sweety Muffin Top sits with Bob Noise on the other side. How telling!
And in classic Keeping Santa Cruz Weird fashion, some judge in San Jose put a hold on the eviction until after the federal case is ruled on this Friday. So for now, nothing has changed at Camp Bernal, we have a new camp half opened in San Lorenzo Park, and we have a city in chaos and confusion over how to deal with this. Something we never should have had to deal with in the first place if we had a city manager with any cojones and a police chief who actually enforced the law. Now he tells us he’s going to enforce the law! Why now? What took you so long?
Remember when Sweety Muffin Top wanted to move Camp Bernal directly on top of the Depot Park soccer field?
Child Finds Dirty Needle at Seabright Beach During KION News Interview
This past Sunday, a needle was found by a child near Seabright Beach while a local nurse was discussing the potential impacts of having a secondary, volunteer run mobile needle distribution service with a KION news reporter. Talk about bad timing!
Woman Stabbed in Seabright
Tuesday night around 8:30PM, a woman was reportedly stabbed multiple times while standing outside her house on Logan street in Santa Cruz. The victim was unable to see who stabbed them or which way the suspect fled. She was taken to a hospital in the San Jose area where her injuries were determined to be non-life threatening, and she has since been released. It doesn’t sound like anyone was arrested or if they have any leads on the suspect.
Man Attacked With Hatchet in Watsonville
A man was hospitalized after being attacked with a hatchet in Watsonville. The attack happened Tuesday, along the Pajaro River Levee, near East Riverside and Blackburn Street. According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, the 21 year old victim suffered defensive wounds. Investigators believe two men were walking along the levee when the ax wielding man confronted them. Nobody was arrested.
A Walk in the Park
My friends and I were enjoying a nice walk along the Riverwalk on Wednesday afternoon when a young woman asked us for directions to the Greyhound station. We mentioned the Metro was just a few blocks away and we could walk her in that direction, and as we walked we talked more and that’s when she told us this horrific story about how she was brought to Santa Cruz from Sacramento against her will and forced to prostitute herself for the past few days. She made no effort to hide the fact that she was a young prostitute suffering from a drug addiction problem. She claimed she had been clean for 2 months and she seemed pretty lucid and sober to me while we spent time with her trying to arrange for a bus ticket back to Sacramento for her. We walked her over to the new benchlands camp hoping to help her find someone there who could pay for her bus ticket back to Sacramento through the city’s Homeward Bound program. This is the kind of person it’s set up to help. She just wanted to go home. And that’s what we were trying to help her do. So we got to the benchlands camp, and nobody there could really help us, although the 2 “gatekeepers” were actually very nice and friendly and tried to find her space in a local shelter for the night. Then we ran into a couple of local downtown Rangers who stopped and were extremely helpful and caring, ultimately getting her a bus ticket back to Sacramento.
It’s possible she may have exaggerated some of her story, but she was a victim, and she was victimized right here in Santa Cruz. She was brought here by a guy from Sacramento to pimp her out for sex here. He reportedly held her captive in a local motel room, barely gave her anything to eat, and basically sold her for sex over the course of several days, before taking all her money and her phone. This is trafficking sex here. Why come here? Why are we such an easy mark for this? Prostitution has long been rampant in the lower Ocean and Beach Flats neighborhoods, for more years than I can count while the city looked the other way. This is at the core of sex trafficking, and the city has long seemingly put a low priority on this.
She told us the name of the guy who brought her here and he’s in jail. SCPD responded to a call that resulted in his arrest just like she told us. She’s a victim first and she needed immediate help and my friends and I (and others) didn’t think twice about offering to help. She was quiet and didn’t even ask for our help originally. She was genuinely appreciative of people trying to help her. There was none of the usual sense of entitlement, none of the usual bullshit attitude we see here. And as far as I know, she left town. I hope she stays clean and can turn her life around. She’s 23. She has her whole life ahead of her. I’ll be keeping a distant eye on her, and the bum who beat her up while she was here.
Downtown Bum Breaks Driver’s Windshield With Rock
Thursday night, a Lyft driver was stopped at the light at Soquel and Front streets in downtown Santa Cruz when out of nowhere, some bum on a bike rides up to the front of the car and smashes the windshield by throwing a rock at it. The driver reported the man on the bike began yelling at him and accusing him of almost running over his girlfriend, but no one else was with him. He said the man on the bike was just rambling nonsense, and when he rolled up the window, the bum on the bike smashed his windshield with a rock and rode off. By the time SCPD arrived, he was gone and nobody was arrested.
Watsonville Police Make Numerous Gun Arrests
After a two week investigation into the manufacturing of automatic weapons, Watsonville Police made numerous arrests this past week. Last Thursday, they found seven illegally possessed firearms, ammunition and a bulletproof vest at a home on Eucalyptus Drive. One of the recovered guns was an unregistered, fully automatic AK-47 assault rifle. A 19 year old man was arrested and is now facing gun charges. None of the guns were registered to to the suspect. A few hours later, a Watsonville Police officer was patrolling the Green Valley Cinema parking lot when he saw a 19 year old man toss a firearm behind a dumpster. Officers found a loaded, fully automatic handgun during their search and arrested him for possession of a loaded machine gun. And Saturday morning, a traffic stop in the area of Riverside Drive and Main Street resulted in a gun and drug bust after the driver had two outstanding warrants for his arrest for narcotics charges out of Santa Clara County. As officers searched his vehicle, they found a handgun, a replica firearm, and a backpack with meth, heroin, cocaine and a scale inside. A passenger was also arrested and is facing charges for possession of a firearm and possession of narcotics for sale.
Stolen Car Shows Up at Camp Bernal
Thursday morning around 4:30AM, SCPD responded to a home on National Street to investigate a report of a stolen Toyota Prius. Around three hours later, SCPD responded to the 100 block of Cottonwood Street near Camp Bernal for a report of a male passed out from doing heroin and slumped over the steering wheel of a Toyota Prius. Officers found a 33 year old transient man in the driver’s seat of the stolen car, who was not immediately compliant when officers removed him from the vehicle. The man was a convicted felon on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) for prior vehicle theft, and was arrested for felony vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, drug-related charges and an additional enhancement for being on Post Release Community Supervision. In 2011, California’s AB109 created a new form of community supervision where certain people leaving state prison are monitored by the county probation department instead of by state parole. This form of supervision is called Post-Release Community Supervision (PRCS).
Asleep at the Wheel
Early Tuesday morning, Scotts Valley police responded to a call about a suspicious parked with the engine running in a neighborhood. When they arrived, they a 34 year old man asleep at the wheel. Since he was on court probation, they searched the truck and found nearly 45 grams of crystal meth, 11 grams of heroin, drug paraphernalia, multiple cell phones and identification cards that did not belong to him. He was arrested and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail.
High Speed Chase On Highway 17
Wednesday night, a Scotts Valley woman led CHP on a high-speed chase along Highway 1 and 17. It began on Highway 1 near Soquel Drive after Santa Cruz CHP tried to stop a car for a cell phone violation. After the driver refused to pull over, she led them on a high speed chase onto Highway 17, where she hit another car near Pasatiempo Drive and kept going. CHP used a PIT maneuver to stop her near Vine Hill Road after the driver tried to drive the wrong way on the highway. She was arrested for felony evading, hit and run, driving on a suspended license and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Trying to Get Arrested
Sunday night, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies noticed a suspicious vehicle parked along the 500 block of Highway 17. After stopping and making contact with the driver, they discovered she had an outstanding warrant and was in possession of an altered imitation firearm. She was arrested for her warrant and the fake gun.
San Jose Woman Arrested For Robbing Downtown Business
Last Thursday, a 48 year old woman from San Jose was arrested for robbery and trespassing at a local business on the 800 block of Front street in downtown Santa Cruz. Apparently, she’s also out of jail already. Why am I not surprised?
Just Another Friday Morning on Pacific Avenue
Friday morning around 10AM, reports came in about a woman that was passed out in front of Forever 21. As she was lying on the ground, witness reported seeing a couple of other bums poking and prodding her, I guess to try to wake her up or see if she was still alive. SCPD responded with a couple units, and determined she was unconscious but breathing. That’s when they had to arrest the 2 other drunks there for being drunk in public and interfering. No word on the condition of the woman.
Easter Coffee Shop Thief Arrested in Aptos
This past Sunday, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a burglary at California Coffee in Aptos. After reviewing surveillance video, deputies were able to identify the suspect. The next day, they located him in the Rancho Del Mar parking lot, where he admitted to breaking into the business to steal cash. He was arrested and taken to jail.
Man Rescued From Rocks Below West Cliff Drive
Last Friday night around 8PM, a man apparently from a cliff near Natural Bridges, suffering major injuries. Santa Cruz firefighters responded to the area near West Cliff and Swanton for a report of a water rescue involving a man who had fallen about 30 feet onto the rocks below. A California State Parks official and a bystander pulled the victim out of the water before emergency responders arrived and prepared ropes and an aerial ladder for the rescue. The victim was extricated from the rocks and brought safely back to the walkway. No word on the condition of the victim.
Missing Boulder Creek Man’s Body Found
During a search this past Saturday, the body of a missing Boulder Creek man was apparently found by members of his family, according to reports by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. The body was located near China Grade Road in Big Basin State Park, close to where his car was previously found. He was last seen March 31st, after his car was found in Big Basin State Park near China Grade Road and Highway 236.
The Big Meh on 4/20
In what for years was a big, annual, celebrated tradition at UCSC, this year’s stonerfest in Porter Meadow turned out to be much ado about nothing. Law enforcement shut down both entrances to the university and the crowd was probably less a thousand people, mostly students living on campus. Talk about an event that has jumped the shark. This is it. And I had a great time at the party at the Paradox thrown by Kind Peoples on 4/20. Who wants to sit in a dirty meadow when you can eat hand carved roast beef sandwiches and taste microbrews at the Paradox for free? No brainer.
Some Much Needed Common Sense
My friend Ashley has a new weekly radio show on KSCO! It will be on live on Wednesdays from 2-4PM, and you can probably listen to the shows online anytime.
Santa Cruz Firefighters Go Ballistic!
As of this week, Santa Cruz County fire trucks will be equipped with ballistic vests and helmets for fire crews to wear when responding to violent situations. This week, emergency personnel from across the county are being fitted for the vests and training with law enforcement. The vests were purchased through a grant the county received from the state’s Homeland Security Grant Program.
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!
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