On December 30, Swanner commented that his "plan" was to go to San Lorenzo Park with a "whole bunch" of "local" people to, "make all the people that are living in tents move their tents". He made the most violent and vigilante oriented comments following a visit to his store downtown by Melissa Freebairn, who showed him photos she said she took of the homeless camp at the park. Freebairn, an RN who has worked at the County of Santa Cruz and as a Nurse at Soledad State Prison/Correctional Training Facility (CTF), is a member of the now mostly defunct Santa Cruz Clean Team, a group formed to clean up areas where homeless people camp locally. Members of the Clean Team, past and present, push a strong anti-homeless political agenda, and conduct their clean up events in a manner that is hostile to homeless residents.
On February 9, one community member posted on social media about a conversation they had with Troy Swanner the evening before: "Had a long conversation with Troy last night. He dodged and weaved, but said he still supports assaulting the homeless. Appalling."
On February 11, after a person asked him on Swanner's personal Facebook page if he was "the guy that wants to beat up homeless people," Swanner said he stood by his violent comments. Melissa Freebairn quickly added her voice to that conversation, telling Swanner the person who asked the question was just "trolling" him.
Roxann Burdick also commented on the post, saying the person was, "another coward just spreading a false narrative," and that she would be seeing Swanner soon to buy a sweatshirt at his store. Burdick, the owner of Stranded Beauty Bar in Santa Cruz, has recently been working with Melissa Freebairn on local homeless issues. When community members first began raising awareness on social media about Swanner's hateful comments towards the homeless, a possible boycott of Live Oak Clothing was brought up. At that time Burdick went on Live Oak Clothing's Facebook page to support Swanner. Referencing the "boycott," she told him she planned on buying some clothes at the store.
Neither Melissa Freebairn or Roxann Burdick have publicly condemned Swanner's violent statements, and continue to seek his support. Swanner has described his relationship with Freebairn and Burdick, since he made the violent comments, as follows: "I have been talking with this group personally and helping them share when they're going to have clean-ups they actually appreciate what I'm doing and to share the good job that they're doing they understand that I'm trying keep my business going."
Swanner's violent comments on social media have not been moderated, and are still visible in the SCCCP - Santa Cruz & Central Coast Politics group on Facebook.
Read the previous article from Santa Cruz Vigilante Watch: Downtown Business Owner Threatens Violence Against Homeless People in San Lorenzo Park