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July 2, 2022

Man arrested for damaging numerous vehicles, building

Three law enforcement agencies responded to the west side of Watsonville early Monday afternoon after a man allegedly pelted passing cars with sticks and rocks, and smashed the windows of four vehicles and a building.

Martin Cruz Chavez, 33, was taken to Santa Cruz County Jail.

 The suspect allegedly damaged cars as they drove on Beach Road and Lee Road, witnesses said. He also vandalized two employee vehicles at the food bank’s Ohlone Parkway headquarters.

Ernesto Gonzalez said he was driving on Beach Street when a rock hit his truck just under his right rear passenger window. The impact dented and scratched the vehicle’s paint, but did not injure Gonzalez or his passengers, which included his 3-month-old baby.

Christopher George was driving back to work from his lunch break when he saw a man throw a stick at his car, damaging a small window.

Second Harvest Food Bank Deputy Director Brendan Miele said the suspect smashed the window of a delivery truck, two employee vehicles and a window in the delivery area.

“For us it’s a bummer,” Miele said. “We’re a nonprofit, and every penny we have to spend on this kind of thing is money we can’t spend on food.”

There were no reported injuries.

Officers from California Highway Patrol, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office and Watsonville Police Department responded to at least three separate related incidents. 


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