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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Health, Housing, and Public Services

Gabriel Jumped by Homeless Haters near Cabrillo College Wednesday
by Robert Norse
Friday Apr 26th, 2013 11:50 AM
I received a phone call yesterday from a formerly homeless man, now a Cabrillo student named Gabriel. He gave the following report of being beaten Wednesday 4-24 near Cabrillo College as he headed for class. Subsequently he checked in with the Cabrillo Health Clinic, but was reluctant to contact the police, having heard from other formerly homeless people that police declined to investigate such incidents. He mentioned the case of a guy named Zack, whose picture was prominently posted on Facebook & rather than investigate, cops told Zack: he'd "better avoid areas where he's likely to be found."
INJURIES FROM THE ASSAULT
Gabriel reported he can barely see out of one of his eye and was kicked in a previously injured leg so badly, it's now oozing puss. He continues to feel whoozey a day later. The incident happened around 12:30 PM Wednesday. There was little pedestrian traffic and tree cover, so no witnesses nearby that he noticed.

The four assailants got out of their car and were apparently cruising around looking for people to beat up. They demanded to know where he was from. When he told them he was a student, they became skeptical and demanded to look inside his backpack. He refused and they then accused him of having something to hide. They then beat him up, but he was able to get away and get to class and ultimately to a Cabrillo medical clinic.

He didn't call the cops, he said, because of past experiences when homeless about police indifference or hostility.

A day later blood continues to run out of his injured eyes; his hand is fractured (from punching back), and the nine months in healing leg injury has been torn apart again.

He says he took photos of his injuries which he'll later post. He hasn't been homeless for three years and is now both a student and employed.

THE THUGS
He says the attackers got out of a gray 4-door pick-up truck. Some of them wore checkered shirts, jeans, baseball hats. One had blonde hair, another had black hair; most of them had short hair "buzz cuts". One had a 5-day stubble; the rest were generally clean-shaven. Between the ages of 18 and 30, he estimates. He noted their socks were pulled way up. He suggested they were "East side local" affiliated...

He says he's still in touch with old homeless friends and followed reports of the recent assaults of Sam-I-Am and Zack on Facebook and through other friends. The situation has escalated significantly since the massive officially orchestrated ceremonies and endless Sentinel police-boosting the Butler-Baker deaths.

TRASHING AND THREATS DOWNTOWN
Gabriel also said he spoke with 4 hitchhikers leaving town in a group at the Ocean St. entrance to Highway 1 South. He said it was unusual to see such a large group hitching together (since that makes getting a ride harder). They told him they'd been stopped on Pacific Avenue by thugs who knocked off their hats. The thugs then opened their backpacks, spilled the contents on the ground and announced "It's all garbage and belongs in the garbage."

The encounter continues, Gabriel reports, with “Hey, do you know what? You're all garbage and that's where you belong. You have twelve hours to get out of town before you're put in the trash.”.

Gabriel concludes, “They seemed pretty freaked out. Their main objective seemed to be clearing out of Santa Cruz.”

“A 'criminal' who is on the side of the police doing the dirty jobs the cops want to do but can't. They have to be recast somehow by showing the real literal damage they're inflicting on innocent people."

Homeless people, or those who look homeless, Gabriel concludes, or even those with backpacks should travel in groups, to provide witnesses if not greater safety.

His final words are even more sobering:

“How long before they surround a female homeless and decide to 'teach her a lesson'? I'm sure what this "lesson" would be doesn't need to be stated outright, but it's more than likely to occur the more they feel that their actions are backed by the police and by the community. Homeless folks are starting to arm themselves and you know how that's going to go down. The first time some lug gets stabbed or seriously hurt in the process of vigilante work it's gonna be a hey-day excuse to get rid of the homeless altogether.”

Gabriel may be posting some photos soon.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Steve
Friday Apr 26th, 2013 1:58 PM
Reading articles such as this is leading me to recall the days of the Contras in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and also films such as "In the Time of the Butterflies." It is sad to recall it was wealthy "landowners" (I don't like the word "landlord", a Medieval/Dark Ages term that still seems to apply today!) who pay thugs to beat up poor folks. Is this is a result of "Take Back Santa Cruz?" Santa Cruz Contras and other paid mercenaries? How sad. But ya know, I saw something this morning that speaks to how inhuman even the City treats homeless folks. On Golf Club Drive, on the other side of the Train Bridge, there is a path that in the last few days the City put a barely visible stretch of barb wire to block the path, with no sign or warning. It can hardly be seen in broad daylight. I can imagine how once dark out, someone will head down that path that has been open for years and cut themselves when suddenly encountering sharp old rusty barb wire (even thoughit is new in the sense of being just put up, the wire is old with old metal spikes protruding. If someone is bleeding, especially a wrist cut as they bump into it, and they pass out from blood loss, they could very well die. Really, if I get a chance I'll take a pic, so you all can see how crude and inhuman this is. No sign, no warning, just low lying (about waist level) barb wire, like a booby trap, a booby trap for the homeless.
by John E. Colby
Sunday Apr 28th, 2013 2:24 AM
I suspect that many crimes against the homeless in Santa Cruz are not investigated by the SCPD.

Consider that Steve Lazow, a disabled homeless man confined to a wheelchair, was robbed while on the streets. He filed charges with the SCPD. They caught the suspect with the stolen goods, yet never returned Lazow's stolen belongings. Nor did DA Bob Lee prosecute the perp.

Disabled homeless person Andrea Morgan was assaulted in a disability based hate crime by an Elevations Church volunteer at the Homeless Services Center (HSC). She filed assault charges with the SCPD. The HSC retaliated against her, denying her services, while the SCPD refused to vindicate her by giving her a deserved investigation.

Santa Cruz Deputy City Attorney Caio Arellano refuses to allow me to speak with SCPD employees on Ms. Morgan's behalf about an investigation although Ms. Morgan has acknowledged me as her advocate and representative. In fact Mr. Arellano refuses to answer my questions about whether I can advocate on any disabled person's behalf with the SCPD as a third party representative.

Santa Cruz Housing Programs Manager Carol Berg refuses to investigate this discrimination by the HSC — the HSC receives HUD block grant money from the City of Santa Cruz, thus Ms. Berg is required to investigate complaints against them for denying benefits. Ms. Berg refuses to respond to queries about why she hasn't investigated this disability motivated hate crime.

The City of Santa Cruz does not seem to care about (disabled) homeless victims of crime, but rather seems more interested in criminalizing them.
by .cp
Sunday Apr 28th, 2013 7:14 PM
thanks for posting. This is a horrible situation. I used to live in SC, and I perceive that many moderate income folks don't like the situation of the homeless living outdoors, but do not have this 'okies go home attitude' and really would prefer some moderate level of funding to put people into rehab and cheap shelter. Have you heard that under the new National healthcare law, low income people will now be eligible for insurance, and addiction services will be covered. There is such a shortage of programs that they expect there will be a long waiting list of newly eligible people next year.

Anyway, I had a mixed negative view of how the SC police choose to respond to complaints based on the situation I observed on Woodrow st, where I rented an apartment. One day the neighbor, a nice man in his 50s who worked as a carpenter, knocked on my door and asked what the deal was with a letter he found on his windshield of the truck parked in front of our house. It said in all-capital-letters something like "don't park your ugly work truck here". After thinking a minute, we realized that the peevish neighbor in an expensive house a block away was probably responsible because she had a history of leaving notes like this if any vehicle was parked in front of her house, and calling the police every time a car was left more than 72 hours in one spot.
A few months later, the lady called the police on the same neighbor just for having a barbecue on his side patio in view of the front sidewalk. Now, this neighbor was really the friendliest guy, and was always inviting the rest of us over and introducing people on the block who didn't know each other yet. In this situation, he was sitting there with his 8 year old granddaughter with the radio playing - and they called in a noise complaint. The police came and his roommate, another carpenter, basically protested and swore, and the police detained him for supposedly being drunk in public. It was a total injustice. I think the obnoxious neighbor had a problem with moderate income people living on her street (regardless of the fact that I probably have years more college education) and this caused her to wave her arms about car parking, people sitting on the porch, and she was probably freaked out about grass length and regulations for garbage can positioning. It disappointed me that the police department responded to her complaints, but maybe if you try to feel the perspective of police, they follow the easiest route and try to appease the loud complainers.
by SAGE SC neighbor
Sunday Apr 28th, 2013 10:41 PM
I agree with the poster above. It seems like the SCPD will come out for ridiculous complaints on behalf of merchants, the Downtown hosts or obnoxious neighbors.

Yet in the Grandview Street neighborhood on the Westside, our neighborhood group SAGE SC can't get them to do anything about drug dealers, violent drug addicts and reckless drivers who use a neighborhood Section 8 apartment complex as home base. Maybe they are more scared of Section 8 residents than they are of our neighborhood group SAGE SC.

I wonder why they bust the chops of homeless people — who threaten nobody — so hard in this town, while the police have allowed our neighborhood to be run down by these dangerous criminals (all who have four walls and a roof to call home).

Worse, why does the federal government subsidize these criminals who are ruining our neighborhood? I don't want to be NIMBY, but it does show why so many neighborhoods don't want government housing in their backyards.
by G
Monday Apr 29th, 2013 6:37 PM
That is why law enforcement doesn't do anything (see LIBOR and ISDAfix for large examples), and pick on the poor instead.

Even poor thieves steal from the poor, because stealing from the 1% is scary.

Well, except for bicycles, as the escape vehicle is built in...
by Robert Norse
Monday Apr 29th, 2013 9:25 PM
...like this one taken by Julie several weeks ago, if I remember correctly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldDsNnE7DYw&feature=youtu.be

It would be good to add time, place, witness names, and reaction from middle-class folks as well as activists and poor people nearby.
by wessie
Wednesday May 1st, 2013 8:28 PM
Those Take Back santa CRuz Folk get warm and fuzzy listening to CLerk. They love his soundbites. Like Peas in a Pod their on the Same page. You can judge Peeple by who they associate With. Anyone who loves the Cops right or wrong aint an asset to the Community.

Personally I liked RN's Wiki. it revealed a lot about Take BACK. I prefer GIVE back SAnta Cruz.