August 26, 2015

Vandalism Arrest

On the morning of August 25, 2015, it was reported that several acts of vandalism occurred to the sidewalk of Pacific Avenue in Downtown. The vandalism consisted of spray painted markings in 33 different locations throughout the Downtown.

The vandalism consisted of square corners painted on the sidewalk and were designed to imitate actual city authorized markings that designate areas where the public can legally display items. The suspects appeared to deliberately imitate the authorized city markings in an attempt to expand the number of locations where individuals can legally display items along the Pacific Avenue sidewalk.
During our investigation, the Santa Cruz Police Department obtained video surveillance of the suspects caught in the act of painting additional unauthorized “blue corners” along Pacific Avenue. Officers were able to identify Abbi Samuels and Jonathan “Keith” McHenry in video clips. The video clearly shows the two carrying paint and template supplies. The video also depicts Mr. McHenry in the act of spray painting the city sidewalk.

Abbi Samuels
Jonathan “Keith” McHenry 
The vandalism was located in the 1200, 1300, 1400 and1500 blocks of Pacific Av and on the southeast corner of Soquel and Pacific. The City’s Economic Development Department is responsible for mapping and keeping track of the actual locations authorized for public displays along the Pacific Avenue sidewalk. They were notified of the vandalism and representatives toured the Downtown to verify which markings were unauthorized.
The investigation determined that the vandals painted 33 squares on the sidewalk throughout the Downtown. The estimated cleanup cost is approximately $950.

In addition to vandalizing the city sidewalks, the act undermines the city’s program to establish safe, orderly and fair use of the Downtown sidewalk space. Display outside of designated zones along the sidewalk of Pacific Avenue is prohibited and governed under Santa Cruz Municipal Code Sections 5.43.005 and 5.43.020.
Mr. McHenry was arrested on the sidewalk near City Hall by Santa Cruz Police Officers on August 25, 2015 at approximately 10:48 PM. Ms. Samuels was arrested approximately one hour later near the same location. Both were booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on charges of Felony Vandalism, and Conspiracy to Commit a Crime.