January 30, 2015

DUI Collision and Arrest, Power Outage

On January 29, 2015 just before midnight, officers responded to Soquel Ave and Forest Ave for a solo vehicle collision into a P.G.& E power pole. Officers found the driver, identified as Jose Antonio Ramirez Diaz at the scene of the collision with minor injuries. The 2002 Chevy Tahoe that Diaz was driving had sheared the power pole, which was only hanging by the attached wires. Diaz refused medical attention for his minor injuries.
Diaz was placed under arrest for driving without a driver's license and driving while under the influence of alcohol. It was estimated that 1200 P.G.&E customers lost their power as a result of this collision. Parts of Soquel Ave were shut down until P.G.&E responded to make the area safe. A Nixle Alert was sent out advising the community of the traffic conditions.

Here is a photo of what happens when you drive a vehicle and you really shouldn't be driving:

January 26, 2015

SCPD Says Goodbye to Officer Tom Young

Thomas Craig Young
May 12, 1964 - January 11, 2015

On Saturday January 24, 2015, members of the Santa Cruz Police Department said goodbye to one of our own.  Officer Tom Young was laid to rest after a memorial service attended by hundreds of guests, which included Officer Young’s family, members of the Santa Cruz Police Department, members of law enforcement agencies and fire departments from across our county, as well as members of our community.  It was a fitting tribute to Tom, who will always be remembered as one of Santa Cruz’s finest.

The morning began with a procession, including marked emergency vehicles, from Santa Cruz Memorial to the Recital Hall at UCSC, which had over 400 guests present.  The memorial service was officiated by the Reverend Richard Rice of the Messiah Lutheran Church in Santa Cruz.  Remembrances and reflections of Tom were delivered by Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel, Tom’s brother-in-law Ben Matheny, Santa Cruz Police Officer Trevor Kendall and Capitola Police Chief Rudy Escalante.  The Santa Cruz Police Department Honor Guard posted the colors at the onset of the service and retired them at the conclusion.  There was a flag ceremony in which Tom’s wife Julie received a folded American Flag from Chief Vogel, as well as a heart-wrenching last radio call tribute to Tom that was broadcast at the service by our dispatch center, Santa Cruz Regional 911.  The ceremony concluded with Officer Pat Bayani playing Taps on his trumpet.

The Santa Cruz Police Department would like to thank all who attended the memorial service to honor Tom Young’s life and his service to our community.  We would like to thank the Santa Cruz Fire Department for the static display of the American Flag from their two ladder trucks at the west entrance to the UCSC campus on Saturday morning.  We would like to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol and the UCSC Police Department for keeping Santa Cruz safe by providing police services to our community on Saturday so that every member of the Santa Cruz Police Department could attend the memorial service for Tom.  Our thanks goes out to Santa Cruz Memorial and Randy Krassow for making sure the arrangements for Tom were handled perfectly.  Lastly, our thanks goes out to Alison Lucas and her staff at the UCSC Arts Division Dean's Office for their generous contribution and assistance with the venue where the memorial service for Tom was held, The Recital Hall at UCSC.

As Chief Vogel said when he concluded his remarks at the memorial service, “We know you are safe.  We love you, we will miss you and we will never forget.  May God bless you and may you rest in peace.”

January 18, 2015

SCPD Mourns the Loss of Officer Tom Young

The Santa Cruz Police Department mourns the loss Officer Tom Young on Sunday January 11, 2015 after a brave, courageous and valiant battle with cancer.

Thomas Craig Young
May 12, 1964 - January 11, 2015
A Resident of Santa Cruz

Thomas Craig Young lost his brave, courageous and valiant battle with cancer on January 11, 2015 at home in Santa Cruz, Ca. surrounded by his family.

Tom was born May 12, 1964 in Long Beach, Ca. He grew up in Southern California, where he met and married his wife, Julie. Early on, Tom was dedicated to serving his community. He was a Co-founder of Partners in Recovery, a non-profit mental health and addiction community treatment center, where he worked for 8 years. Tom and Julie moved to Santa Cruz in 1994, and they were blessed with 2 beautiful children. Tom was an active member of Messiah Lutheran Church and later became an Elder of the Church. Tom dedicated almost 20 years further serving his community with Santa Cruz Police Department. He was an avid fisherman, a committed Husband and Father, and a leader amongst his peers.

Tom is survived by his loving wife Julie, daughter Danielle and son Dylan, of Santa Cruz, Ca, his mother Betty Young of Laverne, Ca., sister Amy Babik of Pasadena, Ca and twin brother Robert Young of Glendora, Ca. 

Services will be held at 11:30 on Saturday January 24, at the UCSC Music Center Recital Hall.

In Honor of Tom, there will be a memorial park bench and plaque in the City of Santa Cruz. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are welcome and should be coordinated by clicking here.  

If you would like to send your condolences to Tom's family, share your memories, view or post photos or light a candle, please visit www.scmemorial.com - See more by clicking here.

January 15, 2015

Gang Member Arrested for Possession of Loaded Firearm

On Wednesday January 14, 2015 the Santa Cruz Police Department was dispatched to the 100 block of Sycamore St. for the report of gang members loitering. Members of the Santa Cruz Police Department Neighborhood Enforcement Team responded and contacted 4 subjects. During the course of the investigation one of the subjects was found in possession of a loaded semi-automatic .22 caliber pistol.

The subject found in possession of the firearm was identified as Clyde Ortega, a 21 year old Santa Cruz resident. Ortega is currently on probation for a previous weapons violation and has gang terms. Ortega has previous contacts with the Santa Cruz Police Department related to gang activity. Ortega was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail for possessing a concealed loaded firearm, probation violation, and participation in gang activity.

January 12, 2015

Update On Hit and Run Fatality Investigation

On December 26, 2014 at 6:36 a.m. a fatal hit and run collision occurred involving a vehicle and bicyclist at Soquel Ave and Hagemann Ave. The bicyclist was pronounced dead at the scene by responding officers and medics. After processing the evidence and consulting with our local car parts experts in the area, it was believed that the vehicle involved in the collision was a white Toyota Tundra, possibly a 2007 model.

After further analysis of the evidence and consultation with parts experts, it has now been determined that the suspect vehicle involved in the collision could also be a white Ford F150 single cab pickup with possible year models being between 2006 and 2008.
The suspect vehicle should have damage to the right front area as well as the passenger side door and passenger side mirror.

The Santa Cruz Police Department is asking for the public’s continued help in identifying the vehicle and driver. Someone in the community knows that truck and the driver who would have been traveling on Soquel Ave around 6:36 a.m the day after Christmas.

Investigators have followed up on a number of tips, but none have been the car involved in this collision.

Anonymous tips can also be sent to the police department through our Tip Line (831) 420-5995, or from our Website; www.santacruzpolice.com . Tipsters can also submit an anonymous tip via our smartphone app or from an SMS text. Visit our Website for instructions.

January 8, 2015

Officer Attacked During Arrest-Sustains Injury

On January 7, 2015 at 1:40 pm one of our Santa Cruz Police Officers was on regular patrol in the area of Pacific Ave and Center St. The officer noticed our suspect was in the middle of the round-about. The officer witnessed the suspect acting strangely and attempted to pull a motorcyclist off of his motorcycle as it traveled through the intersection. As soon as the officer contacted the suspect, he became extremely uncooperative and confrontational.

The suspect attacked the officer during the contact and tried to gouge the officer's eye out. The officer was able to fight off the attack, call for assistance, and deployed his Taser. Unfortunately, the Taser was not effective and the suspect fled from the officer. Additional officers responded and found the suspect a couple blocks away near Beach St. The suspect continued to be confrontational and uncooperative toward the backup officers. The backup officers deployed an additional Taser, which was effective. The backup officers were able to take the suspect safely into custody. Arrested was:

Robert Craig 33 year old, Transient
The officer sustained significant injuries to his eye as the suspect attempted to gouge the eye of the officer during the struggle.  The officer was treated and released from Dominican Hospital and will need to follow up with an eye care specialist to determine the extent of damage.

The suspect, Robert Craig has one prior arrest in Santa Cruz in November 2014 for possession of methamphetamine. He had a current warrant out for his arrest for failure to appear on this previous offense. Following the arrest, Mr. Craig was transported to Dominican Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and later booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail for felony battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, attempt mayhem, and threats on a police officer.

It is not known when the Officer will return to work. 

January 7, 2015

Santa Cruz Community Gathers in Support of Law Enforcement Officers Nationwide

The Santa Cruz Police Department would like to express their deep and humble appreciation to the members of our community who gathered in the front courtyard of the police building in support of Law Enforcement Officers nationwide.  

During the late afternoon of January 1, 2015 several members of our community came out to show their support for the good, dedicated and hard working officers who serve their communities honorably.  They also took this opportunity to remember those officers lost in the line of duty and to recognize the daily sacrifices made by the families of the brave men and women in law enforcement. This effort comes as some police departments across our great nation are coping with difficult times.  

We would also like to thank members of the Santa Cruz Fire Department, Watsonville Police Chief Manny Solano, Santa Cruz County District Attorney Inspector Henry Montes, Scotts Valley Police Lt. John Hohmann (ret.) and the many other county wide law enforcement partners who gathered with us.

It was truly encouraging to see our community stand with us in support and partnership.  Santa Cruz is blessed to have such an actively engaged and positive community who support the work being done by our law enforcement professionals to keep our communities safe.

The following photos are courtesy of Tim Cattera Photography.  Thank you Tim!