What a week. So much for a slow quiet summer in Santa Cruz this year. You probably heard about the murder and mayhem in Ben Lomond so there’s that. We’re talking about the guy “from” Santa Cruz shooting up SLO before cops finally killed him in a gun battle yesterday. Oh, and there’s that pesky pandemic we’re dealing with. We also had a fire torch the Pogonip, a suspected pipe bomb on West Cliff, the Mission got vandalized by a bunch of assholes, the zero bail COVID program ends, an update on the local city council races, and more.
Murder and Mayhem in Ben Lomond
A suspect is in custody and a Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputy is dead after a standoff in the 10000 block of Highway 9 in Felton. Deputies responded to a report of a carjacking where a man reportedly took a white 2000 Toyota Camry while armed with an assault rifle, emergency dispatchers said. As deputies approached, they reported that the suspect was lobbing “bombs” at them, then called for a retreat and cordoned off the area. As the suspect fled in the stolen car, he shot two deputies who were on foot, according to emergency dispatchers. One was taken by air ambulance to a trauma center in critical condition and has died, a police source confirmed. The second suffered minor injuries and did not need medical attention.
The suspect, described as a man in his 30s wearing a blue shirt and khaki pants, reportedly abandoned the vehicle at 10065 Alba Road, and left on foot. Witnesses later said they saw blood in the car. The suspect later used the rifle to steal a second car—a dark green Porsche 911. Santa Cruz Police Department deployed its BearCat armored vehicle worked with Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies and the California Highway Patrol. Multiple police cruisers from agencies in neighboring Monterey County, including King City and Soledad, were seen speeding north on Highway 1 to the scene. Officers were called to the scene from as far away as South San Francisco. Police established a command post at the Red Gables Church in Felton.
Saturday afternoon around 1:30PM, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies received a call about a suspicious white van parked off the road near Jamison Creek near Ben Lomond in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The caller saw guns and bomb-making materials inside the van. When deputies responded, they saw the van driving away and followed it to a home in Ben Lomond. When they got out of their vehicles, they were ambushed with gunfire and improvised explosive devices. Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s department was shot and taken to the hospital where he passed away from his injuries. Another deputy was either shot or struck by shrapnel and struck by a car as the suspect fled the property.
Three local heroes in the community eventually tackled and captured the suspected gunman. One man in particular disarmed the gunman of his assault rifle, tackling him and wrestling away both a pipe bomb and a handgun while on the ground. Another neighbor with his dog helped the local man wrestling the suspect, while a woman alerted nearby deputies they had the man on the ground. The story made National news headlines.
An online fundraiser for the family of Sgt. Gutzwiller has been set up and has raised almost $500K in the past week.
A reward fund set up by locals and neighbors has raised over $16K for the heroes that bravely captured the suspect.
Suspect Wanted in SLO Shootings Hung Out in Santa Cruz
A 26 year old transient who apparently spent significant time bumming around in Santa Cruz last year was killed in a gun battle with police near Paso Robles on Thursday afternoon. He shot a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputy in the face and killed a homeless man before targeting others in a series of attacks on Thursday that also wounded three other members of law enforcement. The 26 year old transient bum was killed after crawled out from a brushy riverbed and climbed a steep hillside before running towards a local vineyard. He had two stolen handguns and investigators found a box of ammunition on him, according to the Paso Robles Police Chief. Authorities believe he had been planning attacks on law enforcement for days, the chief said. Over the course of about 36 hours, the man opened fire in an ambush and managed to evade hundreds of law enforcement officers, authorities said.“Every time that law enforcement got near to him, he engaged them in gunfire,” the Chief said at a news conference. “He did want to shoot law enforcement.”
The manhunt for the suspect began at dawn on Wednesday, after authorities said he opened fire on the Paso Robles police station. Two sheriff’s deputies heard gunshots and responded but didn’t see the attacker and came under fire. While searching for the suspect, deputies received a report of a body near a train station and found a 58 year old homeless man shot to death on the tracks. He appeared to be a transient who was camping out overnight. Police believe the suspect was responsible for the murder. Then on Wednesday night, Paso Robles police got a report of shots being fired and spotted a man who appeared to be the suspect but he fled into a nearby apartment complex before he managed to escape through a nearby riverbed. At one point, he spotted officers and shot at them before hiding back in the riverbed. Overnight, local police, San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputies, an FBI SWAT team and other law enforcement surrounded the area of the riverbed where the suspect was believed to be hiding. Around 2PM, the suspect emerged and fired at surrounding officers, shooting an Arroyo Grande police sergeant in the leg. Two hours later, he crawled up an embankment and up a short but steep hill and began to run to a neighboring vineyard when he engaged in another gunfight with police, this time shooting two more people before he was shot to death. All three wounded officers were expected to recover, he said.
Two handguns stolen during a commercial burglary were recovered and a box of ammunition, with more guns were found in a crawlspace under a Paso Robles movie theater. All three wounded officers were expected to recover. He was arrested 3 times here in 2019. Three times and released. He also has 14 active cases with the Santa Cruz Courts.
Remember That Pandemic We’re Dealing With?
Santa Cruz County’s newly revised health order released this week lifts some major restrictions previously in effect. One is the removal of lodging restrictions. Hotels, motels and vacation rentals able to get back to business as of Friday. Also allowed to open with restrictions are movie theaters, family entertainment centers, museums, galleries, aquariums, gyms and fitness centers, swimming pools, campgrounds and RV parks. Tasting rooms, brewpubs and bars have also been given clearance to operate in accordance with State guidelines.The new order extends partial beach closures through July 6th. You can read the fully revised order here.
Fire Burns the Pogonip
Early Wednesday morning, Cal Fire responded to a fire in rough terrain burning in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Santa Cruz. According to Cal Fire, the 2 acre fire was first reported around 2AM and was burning in the Pogonip area. Gee, I wonder how this fire could have started? Could it have been from one of the dozens of people squatting in illegal campsites up in that area, something the city refuses to deal with? Could be!
Suspected Pipe Bomb Near Dream Inn Shuts Down Area
A pedestrian walking near West Cliff and Bay found a pipe with duct tape on both ends and wires hanging out of it late Wednesday morning, resulting in the area being shut down temporarily in the event the device might have been a pipe bomb. The device was found outside of the Sea and Sand Motel and the building was evacuated. The call came in shortly before noon and SCPD and deputies from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office responded. A bomb squad brought a bomb retrieval robot in to diffuse the device and officials said there was no longer a threat around 2PM.
Santa Cruz Mission Vandalized by Assholes
Wednesday night, a group of asshole “protestors” vandalized the historic Mission Santa Cruz. As protesters walked and congregated nearby, a smaller group hung around Emmet and High streets, near Mission Plaza Park and Holy Cross Church.
Smile bitch. You and your friends are all over social media. Give me names.
State Justice Council Rescinds $0 Bail Covid Release Program
Or what I like to call the “Get Out of Jail Free Card” program. The Judicial Council of California voted this week to end the COVID-19 emergency bail schedule. Effective on June 20th, The Judicial Council voted 17-2 to rescind the COVID-19 temporary bail schedule that set presumptive bail at $0 for people accused of lower-level crimes. They took this measure to try to curb the spread of COVID-19 in jails and surrounding communities. The California Chief Justice also rescinded her statewide order extending time for defendants to be arraigned. That change would require defendants again be arraigned within 48 hours. More on this can be found here.
Who’s Running For Santa Cruz City Council?
Interested in running for school board, special district board or city council in November? The candidate filing period is July 13th through August 7th. Santa Cruz County will be holding a virtual Candidate Information Workshop to learn everything you need to know about getting your name on the ballot and running for local office. Different dats for different cities. Pick yours.
Get Your Swagger On!
I have swag! I’m working with Spreadshirt and have my own shop. I just put some basic products up to start with for now with the new logo. You can also click “Customize” and “Products” and pick from other products not currently available in my store. Contact me with any questions or issues. Nothing would make me happier than to see people out and about with my swag. I want photos! I’ve never asked for money, and I still plan to continue to do the Weekly Dump each week and make it available for free, without any paywall or ads or spam (or salary). Think of this as a way of donating to the effort and getting something back for your donation (I only make a few bucks on each item sold). I’d love to do more with Santa Mierda if I had the means to do so. This will help provide the means to do so. And it helps get the word out. The hell with the coronavirus, let’s make this viral. Being stuck inside is the perfect time for online shopping! I’ll love you long time if you buy my swag.
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