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Former TBSC Hero Dylan Greiner Removed as SC Clean Team Admin After Arrest
Dylan Greiner was removed as an administrator for the Santa Cruz Clean Team's Facebook group shortly after he was arrested on charges he molested and filmed young girls while they were changing before surfing classes at the surf school he ran. Some of the classes he taught were held at Santa Cruz High School.
The Santa Cruz Clean Team is a group that claims to be interested in cleaning up the environment, but in actuality the group is more of a vigilante-style front designed to remove the homeless from public spaces, and at least one journalist has questioned their honesty in the amount of recovered waste items they report.
The admins of the Clean Team are now listed as Ron Perrigo, Alex Josselyn, and Chrissy Brown.
Greiner became well known after the vigilante neighborhood crime prevention group Take Back Santa Cruz (TBSC) helped promote him and his questionable agenda in the community.
Greiner first became a hero to TBSC after he uploaded a video to youtube that showed drug paraphernalia on Cowell's Beach in Santa Cruz. More cautious observers questioned the accuracy of his reports, and some accused him of lying about the subjects he was filming, who he accused of being hard drug users.
Greiner was propped up by organizations such as Take Back Santa Cruz, and blogger Brad Kava from the website, Santa Cruz Patch, which is owned by AOL. Kava enthusiastically vouched for Greiner's credibility.
An article By Brad Kava from November 2012 titled "What Can One Man Do? Surfer's YouTube Video Gets Action at City Hall", states that Greiner first got the Cowell's Beach video to take off by posting it to Take Back Santa Cruz's facebook group.
Kava vouches very strongly for Greiner in a comment at the end of the article, saying, "I also know Dylan...and he is absolutely credible. He has no motive to do this except to help out and keep the beaches safe and clean. We owe him for this one. It shows what one person can do, if they have a mind to do the right thing."
Kava has long been a vocal supporter of Take Back Santa Cruz, despite the evidence that TBSC founder Dexter Cube was revealed to have been involved with corporate crime (see: Was Tough-on-Crime Take Back Santa Cruz Founded by a Corporate Criminal? http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/06/02/18649646.php)
A December 2012 article in Good Times featured portions of an interview with Michael Becker, who was called co-president of TBSC. The article shows how TBSC used Greiner as a way to expand their own organization:
"Becker says the video of the waste and syringes recorded by Greiner, which aired on the evening news several weeks ago, and other photos taken by people doing cleanups, have raised awareness and caused the community to rally together."
"In just the past three weeks, he says the Take Back Santa Cruz Facebook group acquired about 500 new members—raising the total to 4,600. He says more people lately are coordinating on the Take Back Santa Cruz Facebook page and going out to do their own cleanups. He says that group members have been going to Cowell Beach almost every day during low tide to clean up needles that have washed out from the rocks. A new Facebook page called The Clean Team!! sprang up in early December in reaction to the problem, had 654 members as of press time, and also aims to help people organize grassroots cleanups."
As a result of the viral publicity and unquestioned support by Take Back Santa Cruz, The Clean Team, and the Santa Cruz Patch, Greiner's surfing school business may have expanded, thereby giving him more access to victims.
Has the anti-homeless agenda of these so called public safety groups had a negative impact on public safety overall in Santa Cruz?
Are their viral advocacy methods shifting focus away from real crime, and towards misdemeanors and petty infractions?
Take Back Santa Cruz member Steve Schlicht was appointed by Mayor of Santa Cruz Hilary Bryant to a newly formed 'public safety task force' that has focused on petty crimes relating to drug use and homelessness, over violent crimes such as rape, which the task force has not addressed at all. Schlicht has recently become famous for saying that "he is fine with junkies dying" in a leaked quote (see: Mayor's Public Safety Task Force Member is "fine with junkies dying" http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/07/25/18740407.php)
In a Sentinel article about Geiner's arrest, Analicia Cube, one of the founders of TBSC and wife of Dexter Cube (who was involved with corporate crime) was quoted:
"This is someone a lot of people knew; this is someone a lot of people trusted," she said. "This can happen with people that everyone knows." (see: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/santacruz/ci_23884265/santa-cruz-surf-school-owner-arrested-inappropriate-contact )
Cube is quite the excuse maker. An apology to the community from her and TBSC would have been more appropriate, as they were one of Greiner's biggest cheerleaders.
The problem is Take Back Santa Cruz and the Clean Team operate with a biased lens, and the groups "trust" those who fall in line with their bigoted anti-homeless agendas, at the expense of real public safety.
By supporting Take Back Santa Cruz, the community has unwittingly promoted real and dangerous criminals to more prominent positions in Santa Cruz.