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Indybay Feature
Four Individuals to Stand Trial for 75 River Street Bank Occupation
by Alex Darocy (alex [at]
Tuesday Mar 12th, 2013 5:06 PM
Motions to dismiss trespass and felony vandalism charges against four individuals charged in association with the 75 River Street bank occupation in Santa Cruz were denied by Judge Timothy Volkmann on March 11. The judge set a trial date of May 13 for Gabriella Ripley-Phipps, Franklin Alcantara, Brent Adams, and Cameron Laurendau, but that date will most likely be changed due to a case conflict with one of the defense attorneys.
Judge Volkmann agreed with the previous ruling by Judge Burdick in January that there was enough evidence to hold the four for trial on trespass charges, stressing there was a, "relatively low threshold for holding an individual over for trial."

"I don't see direct evidence of vandalism," Volkmann stated, but he agreed with Burdick that the four were still to be held accountable for felony vandalism charges under an aiding and abetting legal theory that maintains the damage to the building was a reasonably foreseeable result of the trespass.

According to representatives of Wells Fargo, who is the leaser of building, nearly $30,000 in damage resulted from the three day occupation of the vacant bank, which began in November of 2011.

At the last hearing in January of this year, Judge Burdick dismissed all trespass and vandalism charges against three others charged in association with the occupation, finding that District Attorney Rebekah Young did not show that any of them had been on the property of the bank after the police had contacted the management of the building. After that, police claim they officially began to issue warnings for people to leave the premises.

Burdick found that the occupation of the bank at 75 River Street appeared to be "spontaneous" after the doorway was opened with a key following an "occupy" march to the building. For those remaining on the property after the so-called police warnings were issued, Burdick found that there were a variety of circumstances why they should be held for the vandalism charges.

Volkmann echoed Burdicks findings, stating that there was "globally recognizable" evidence submitted that showed the vandalism was a reasonably foreseeable outcome of the trespass. The reasons included the size of the crowd and that the building was locked; the amount of time individuals stayed in the building; that demonstrators did not leave immediately; the stacking of furniture and the covering of windows; and the "emotional state" of the crowd.

Before the March 11 hearing, community members placed signs in front of the court house in support of the "Santa Cruz Eleven", and two to three dozen supporters filled the courtroom, hoping the charges against the defendants would be dismissed.

Seven of the eleven originally charged in February of 2012 in association with the 75 River Street occupation have had the charges dismissed against them in previous hearings.

A status hearing will be held in court on April 8 for the four present defendants.

For more information about those charged, see:

I was one of the eleven who were originally charged in association with the 75 River Street occupation, and all of the charges against me were dismissed in May of 2012.

Alex Darocy
§Santa Cruz Judge, Timothy Volkmann
by Alex Darocy Tuesday Mar 12th, 2013 5:06 PM
§Santa Cruz District Attorney, Rebekah Young
by Alex Darocy Tuesday Mar 12th, 2013 5:06 PM
§Defense Attorneys
by Alex Darocy Tuesday Mar 12th, 2013 5:06 PM
Defense Attorneys Lisa McCamey, Alexis Briggs, Bryan Hackett, and Jesse Ruben (with back to camera)
§Gabriella Ripley-Phipps
by Alex Darocy Tuesday Mar 12th, 2013 5:06 PM
Gabriella Ripley-Phipps receives a hug from a supporter.
§Franklin Alcantara, Robert Norse
by Alex Darocy Tuesday Mar 12th, 2013 5:06 PM
Franklin Alcantara is interviewed by Robert Norse, who had the charges dismissed against him in the same case during a hearing in January.
by Alex Darocy Tuesday Mar 12th, 2013 5:06 PM
§Whistle Blowers
by Alex Darocy Tuesday Mar 12th, 2013 5:06 PM
Supporters brought muffins.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by bank should pay
Tuesday Mar 12th, 2013 6:50 PM
so the police warned people to leave at 7pm, but the people got there at the bank at 3-4pm, and the managers of wells fargo work at 74 river street which is right across the street from the occupation, why didn't they call the police earlier? isnt wells fargo to blame for the vandalism if they didnt even call the police to say the bank was occupied?

i think wells fargo is responsible for the damages

maybe they wanted damage to happen so they could write it off?

it has been empty for what, 4 years???????
by Becky Johnson
Thursday Mar 14th, 2013 1:41 PM
According to police sworn witness testimony, SCPD Officer William Winston, Sgt. Harms warned people to leave after 7pm before 8pm. There were no "no trespassing" notices on the building when the crowd arrived. I didn't see any when I got there at the tail end of the march. The managers of Wells Fargo work at 74 River Street which is right across the street from the occupation, but the person who actually is in charge of that building is Alicia Boucher and she doesn't live in Santa Cruz County. There was no 911 call placed in evidence during my preliminary hearing. Since police were following the march, they were aware of entry to the building, most likely before the managers at 74 River Street were. Then police were in the position of going out and trying to locate who was in charged to see if they had an objection to 50 people occupying their building. 75 River Street had been vacant since 2008, is going on 5 years as a vacant building. The building is owned by Barry Swenson Builders and they pay $40,000 a year in property taxes. It is vacant now.

During the occupation, Wells Fargo opted to shut off power and water to the building. What did they think were the "natural and probable" consequences of doing that when 50 people were still in the building? They should pay for their own poo-poo clean-up.

(I was one of the Santa Cruz Eleven & spent 11 months faces charges falsely filed against me. I was freed at my preliminary hearing on Jan 9th when Judge Burdick ruled there was no evidence to bind me over for trial.)
by Robert Norse
Sunday Mar 17th, 2013 9:47 PM
...and my perspective on the issues, go to .
by b-rentassunder
Thursday Mar 21st, 2013 7:25 PM
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