Welcome to another vibrantly honest edition of the Weekly Dump. This week, we’re talking Ocean Street, our long neglected gateway through our dirty laundry pile. We also had an officer involved shooting in Aptos, a pipe beating in San Lorenzo Park, a couple of attempted carjackings, the gangs all here, felonious assault on my intelligence, rotten peaches, the usual felon with gun and heroin story, Top-a-Lot of dysfunction, Super Silver thief busted, still our number one public safety hazard, the new cite and release, bum fire burns under the fishhook, arsonist arrested at Seabright, and more.
Airing Out Our Dirty Laundry Along Ocean Street is a Terrible Idea
One of the locations the city of Santa Cruz is considering dumping their growing homeless population is into the Ocean Street corridor, by allowing people to camp pretty much wherever they want. The whole discussion here is beyond stupid. I would be happy to help organize a class action lawsuit against the city once the city tries to push any of this nonsense on the community. The city of Santa Cruz makes the homeowner liable for the sidewalk in front of their house. And now they want to control the sidewalk in front of your house? Can’t have it both ways. I’m not an attorney but I’m happy to help rally some “class action” if necessary here.
Ocean Street is our gateway into Santa Cruz. Our Champs-Élysées. Our Yellow Brick Road. And we’re watching it slowly die of neglect like an abused elder from consistently bad city council decision making. It’s something we should be proud of, not something we dump our trash on. We can do better than this Santa Cruz. And we should demand better solutions. Please support your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and fellow locals along the Ocean Street corridor by signing this petition. It’s pretty self explanatory, and I know they will appreciate the support from the community. Even if you don’t live there, we all drive it regularly, and any impacts to Ocean Street will be felt by all of us. And while I’ve obviously been pushing back specifically on allowing camping in the Ocean Street corridor, I don’t support it in anyone’s neighborhood or corridor or city park. It’s absurd we’re even having this discussion. Homelessness is a problem. A big problem here. Instead of looking for more places to put it, how about we find more ways to reduce it. How about we expend our collective energy, and resources, and good fucking will to reduce local homelessness instead of expanding servicing it?
Donna Meyers. Sonja Brunner. Sandy Brown. Justin Cummings. Renee Golder. Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson. Martine Watkins. Hello. It’s me. I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet to go over everything. They say that time’s supposed to heal you but I ain’t done much healing. Hello. Can you hear me? I’m in California dreaming about who we used to be when we were younger and free. I’ve forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet. There’s such a difference between us. And a million miles. Hello from the other side. I must’ve called a thousand times. To tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done. But when I call you never seem to be home. Hello from the outside. At least I can say that I’ve tried. To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart. But it don’t matter. It clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore.
Officer Involved Shooting in Aptos
Around 11PM on Tuesday night, Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies were investigating a suspicious vehicle on the 7900 block of Soquel Drive in Aptos. After contacting the two occupants, deputies noticed the driver was armed with a handgun, who fired at least one shot while they were attempting to detain him. One deputy shot back several times hitting the 39 year old driver from Soquel. After the deputies rendered medical aid, the suspect was transported to a hospital and is expected to survive. The deputies and passenger were not injured during the incident. Several weapons were recovered at the scene. The suspect had been arrested in March of last year for selling drugs. Last March, he was arrested for having A POUND OF METH, as well as having 13 guns in his possession, including illegal assault weapons. His bail was set at ONE MILLION DOLLARS! And here he is, a year later, out on the street shooting at cops. The reform we really need is with PROBATION, and judges and district attorney offices in California that coddle this.
Beaten With a Pipe in San Lorenzo Park
Saturday morning around 7:30AM, SCPD responded to the 100 block of Dakota (aka “Camp Coonerty”) for a report of a possible stabbing in San Lorenzo park. When they arrived, they found it wasn’t a stabbing but a male was beating a woman with a pipe near the bathrooms. A 23 year old male suspect (with an outstanding arrest warrant out of Milpitas) was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, and last check was still in county jail with bail set at $25K.
Attempted Carjacking near Ocean View Park
Saturday afternoon around 1PM, SCPD responded to the area near Ocean View Park after getting reports of someone trying to choke another person. When they arrived, they determined the person being choked was the victim of an attempted carjacking. The suspect assaulted the victim and stole their keys, but SCPD managed to arrive in time to prevent the suspect from stealing the car. He was arrested for attempted carjacking.
The Gangs All Here
Last Friday night around 9:30PM, Watsonville Police responded to the 100 block of Brennan Street where they arrested an 18 year male and charged him with carrying a loaded firearm in a public place, possession and transport of a machine gun, having a large capacity magazine, and illegal possession of ammunition. His bail was set at $25K and he bonded out of jail. Ten minutes later, they arrested another 18 year old male and charged him with carrying a loaded firearm in a public place, having a gun with no serial number, possession and transport of a machine gun, having a large capacity magazine, and illegal possession of ammunition. His bail was also set at $25K and he too bonded out of jail already. I’m seeing a pattern here. Cheap bail = No jail.
Felonious Assault of My Intelligence
Friday afternoon around 3:30PM, deputies from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s department responded to the 1800 block of Sumner Avenue where they arrested a 30 year old male, charging him with possession of stolen property, drug possession for sale, DUI, giving false ID to police, and felony violation of parole. He’s been charged with felony violation of parole 18 times since 2014. And “Sheriff” (from now on I’m putting that in quotes when it pertains to him) Jim Hart was all set to cut this guy loose on penny bail for ALL 6 of his charges, but there’s that pesky FELONY VIOLATION OF HIS PAROLE YET AGAIN.
Last Saturday around 4:30PM, deputies from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s department responded to the 900 block of Hopkin’s Gulch Road where they arrested a 52 year old male and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats, flashing a weapon, domestic violence, vandalism, battery on emergency personnel, and being drunk in public. The guy sounds like a real peach! Last check he was still in county jail with bail set at $25K.
Watsonville Carjacking Suspect Found Hiding in Creek
Wednesday morning, Watsonville Police responded to the area of Green Valley and Holohan roads after getting a report of a possible carjacking attempt. A woman reported that a man tried to open her car door twice before she was able to drive away and call 911. Police set up a perimeter in the area and nearby schools were briefly placed on lockdown. The suspect was found hiding in a nearby creek. The 44 year old male was arrested and taken to the Santa Cruz County Jail. He’s been charged with carjacking and resisting arrest and his bail was set at $25K.
Felon, Loaded Gun, Heroin – Check!
This past Sunday, SCPD responded to the area of Mission and Otis streets where they arrested a 43 year old male and charged him with public intoxication, being a felon in possession of a gun not registered to him, being a felon in possession of a concealed loaded weapon, and possession of heroin. His bail was set at $75K and somehow, he managed to bond out! He’s out of jail already. Damn, who’s his guardian angel?
Top-a-Lot Of Dysfunction
Monday night, Santa Cruz Police received a call from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office asking them to check on Top-a-Lot Yogurt on Water Street after they stopped someone in possession of a cash register. Santa Cruz police said when they arrived at Top-a-Lot, there was glass shattered from the front door of the business and they discovered that the register was missing. Police contacted the business owner and showed him photos of the property found inside the stopped vehicle. The business owner confirmed the register with some cash and gift certificates had been stolen from the store. A Santa Cruz police officer drove some 20 miles over Highway 17 and met with Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies at the traffic stop in Campbell, where the suspect was located. After inspecting the stolen items and interviewing him, they confirmed the 49 year old resident from Oakland was the burglar. Officers say the suspect had glass shards from the front door at the store in his shoes and pants, which helped police connect him to the burglary.
Ok, here’s where shit gets amazingly stupid and dysfunctional. Due to COVID-19 mandates limiting jail inmates to primarily violent and sexual offenders, the jail declined to accept him. He was cited and released at the scene. SCPD drove an hour over Highway 17 to Campbell and back to write a fucking ticket because our “sheriff” (who runs the jail) refused to accept him.
Another Downtown Jewelry Store Burglarized
Early Wednesday morning, a burglar stole an estimated $80,000 worth of store merchandise after breaking into the Super Silver jewelry store on Pacific Avenue. It was the second burglary at this location in the past 6 months. Surveillance video showed a suspect who had been sleeping in an alcove in front of the Pacific Avenue store go around the building and break in through a side window. The business had installed bars on its front door after a similar break-in happened about six months ago. The thief reportedly left a trail of stolen necklace chains behind as he left. According to the store manager, there have been recent burglaries at nearby businesses, including Dell Williams and Camouflage on Pacific Avenue, and and Stephan’s Fine Jewelry on Walnut Avenue.
So if they caught the guy, what would they do? Give him a ticket? In Santa Cruz, that’s exactly what they would do.
And stop the presses! SCPD’s Neighborhood Policing Team spotted a vehicle in the 100 block of Doyle Street believed to be associated with the suspected thief. Officers watched an RV for a period of time before contacting and arresting the suspect. The RV was towed from the eastside. Detectives are currently looking into possible connections between Burros and any other burglaries in the immediate area. He actually got more than a ticket. He got a bail increase to $100K. Still in jail. But 4 of his 5 charges were penny bail.
Our Number One Public Safety Hazard
Last Friday around 7:30PM, deputies from the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s department responded to the 1600 block of Soquel Drive where they arrested a drug dealer and charged him with felony possession of drugs for sale, destroying evidence, and other drug related charges. Three felonies, a request to increase his bail, and Jim Hart lets him out of jail for nothing. “Emergency Bail Release”. Oh schools are open again, but Jim Hart still takes no prisoners in the county jail.
Felony Violation of Parole is the New Cite and Release
Last Friday around 2:30AM, Watsonville Police responded to the area of 5th and Main streets where they arrested a 25 year old male and charged him with battery and a felony parole violation. He was on a no bail hold but he’s since been released from jail.
Bum Fire Burns Under Fishhook Overpass
Wednesday night around 11PM, reports came in about smoke seen in the area of the San Lorenzo river levee near Felker street. When SCPD arrived they found a brush fire among the garbage and people camping nearby under the freeway overpass. Santa Cruz Fire responded to deal with the fire while SCPD evacuated the people squatting nearby.
“can you advise fire there are propane tanks near the fire that have not exploded yet…”.
Arsonist Arrested at Seabright Beach
Last Thursday around 11:30PM, State Park Rangers arrested a 37 year old male at Seabright State beach for felony arson. He’s been arrested at least 20 times since November of 2020, when he seems to have arrived in town. 11 times between 2013 and November of 2020 in other bay area cities (San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, etc). Last check he’s still in jail sitting on a $25K bond.
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