Surge in Seabright Area Violence

Police and Seabright residents alike have decided that the area’s Neighborhood Night, a Tuesday night tradition of community bar-hopping, has gotten out of hand. Although police report rowdiness all nights of the week, they saw increased amounts of violence on Tuesday nights. Over the summer, there were many fights, a stabbing, smashed police car windows, drug deals and drunk driving — including an incident in which someone was run over. Police reported one arrest and 19 citations on one Neighborhood Night alone. Residents, too, are raising their voices, complaining of noise, violence, vomit and urine, among other things. In an attempt to get the “friendly” neighborhood get-together under control, the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) has increased patrol on Tuesday nights and local bars are strictly enforcing rules and occupancy restrictions.

Rape at the Levee

Only a few months after the community was shocked and outraged by the rape of a young woman at an East Side café, another attack has disturbed the peace in Santa Cruz. The victim, a 23-year-old Contra Costa County woman, had met the assailant, a young Frenchman, at a downtown bar on Saturday, Aug. 17. It was later that night, when the two were walking through the San Lorenzo River levee, that the man forcibly raped her. The woman escaped thanks to nearby witnesses who broke up the attack, but the attacker got away. The community flooded the SCPD with tips, and the suspect, 19-year-old Pierre Anton, was arrested within a few days.

Dog Abuse in the SC Mountains

Robert Brunette, a Boulder Creek resident and dog breeder, was arrested on July 31 with 10 counts of crimes against animals. Earlier that week, animal control authorities had searched his property and uncovered a dead dog, five dog skulls and a decapitated dog head. The authorities also rescued nearly 40 sick and abused dogs from the residence. Brunette awaits his arraignment in September.

Development News

While students were taking a breather from classes this summer, the city of Santa Cruz took no such hiatus from town development. Among the proposals and plans is the Delaware Project, a 20-acre live/work industrial complex planned for 2120 Delaware Ave. The Westside complex, approved by the city in mid-July, will have 250 units. A key part of the idea is that driving, traffic and car emissions will reduce from people living where they work.

Also on the agenda is a proposal from Barry Swenson Builder of San Jose to replace the old landmark La Bahia residences with a 125-room luxury hotel complete with a pool, underground parking garage, bar, restaurant, and 3,000 ft of meeting space. The city is set to make a final decision on the hotel, which was protested throughout summer, in late September.

In similar news, Scotts Valley is in tumult over the possibility of a new Target opening in their town, while Santa Cruz debates over a proposed five-story parking garage at Cedar and Cathcart Streets downtown.