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September 25, 2023

Santa Cruz sees crowds on Halloween | About Town

No one came to our door Saturday night for Halloween. Typically we get dozens of kids in costumes, families roaming the streets, strangers greeting strangers at the doorstep. Not this year. Downtown Santa Cruz, however, came out in force with, what police said was about 8,000 people, who donned original costumes, marched around in drumming groups and so on. Most people wore safety masks outdoors. Social distancing was evident with many of the people.

Hollister  Police have made an arrest of a 21-year-old suspect in connection to a rash of fires and vehicle vandalisms.  

Carlos Reynoso, Interim Chief of Police, said that around 2am Monday Police and Fire personnel responded to several  reports of fires in downtown Hollister around 5th and East streets.

“The fires were suspicious and several calls of vehicle vandalisms  involving slashed tires began to be reported,” Reynoso said. 

After police reviewed surveillance footage from area cameras they noticed the same vehicle at two of the fire locations. Other officers also recognized the vehicle as possibly being associated with someone they had recently contacted, and were able to develop leads.  Around noon police found the suspect vehicle near the 200 block of San Benito Street. Following a surveillance the suspect was spotted leaving in another vehicle and a felony car stop was conducted at 2pm.  

“David Anthony Pequeño, 21, was detained, the suspect vehicle was  impounded and a search warrant was executed at his residence,” Reynoso said. “At about 6:30pm, Pequeño was  booked at the San Benito County Jail for four counts of felony arson. His bail is set at  $1,000,004.”  

Other charges are pending related to vehicle vandalism. The incident is still under investigation. 

As of Tuesday morning Santa Cruz County reported 2,964 cases of Covid-19 and 26 deaths. San Benito County has 1,477 cases and 15 deaths while Monterey County weighed in with 11,817 cases and 96 deaths. California has 941,554 cases and 17,000 deaths. There are 9.26 million cases across the US with 231,566 deaths, numbers that somehow fuel President Trump to tell Americans that we are coming around the corner with the virus.

Gas prices are slightly falling. Experts say there are two reasons: a likely second wave of the pandemic and a typical drop in oil prices around fall and winter.

Some officials are predicting another round of grocery and goods hoarding, like rushes on toilet paper, rubbing alcohol, cleansers, safety masks and the like as a possible second wave of the pandemic nears. Here’s a tip: I found an incredible sale of disposable safety masks, 10 packs for $2.99, at Harbor Freight, 1060 S. Green Valley Road in Watsonville. That’s 30 cents each.

Watsonville artist Kathleen Crocetti has done it again: She and a crew of artists and others installed a mosaic public art piece Sunday, this time in the shape of a water dragon. It now rests atop an archway and stands for the entrance to the Chinatown Bridge that leads into San Lorenzo Park from Front Street. The park was once Chinatown. (See my article online.)

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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