Man, 51, Found Murdered by Railroad Tracks Near Depot Park

The unidentified homeless man is the third murder victim this year in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Police arrested a 26-year-old transient on suspicion of killing a 51-year-old transient at around 11 p.m. Friday at a campsite along the railroad tracks near Depot Park.

This is the city's third murder of the year. Police are not releasing names yet as the investigation is still underway.

The man was found dead in the campsite by police who got a call about suspicious activity there.

The tracks along the westside have become a  flash point among city residents who have been filming illegal campsites there and asking for help cleaning them up.

Once one of the most tolerant cities toward homeless people in the nation, Santa Cruz has been going through a new wave of people who are tired of the crime and pollution transients are bringing into the city.

Citizen activists have been documenting crimes on Facebook page for Take Back Santa Cruz, including a photo of a man with a needle passed out on the patio at the restaurant Burger and a man defecating in a channel that runs to the ocean behind the old Wrigley building.

Members of the group and others called an impromptu community meeting Monday at which residents were asking police to do more to clean up the city of the population of homeless people who are committing crimes and selling and using heroin and leaving needles on beaches and campsites.

Here are the minutes of the meeting.

Here is a video of the trash and abuses along the railroad tracks.

The meeting was attended by police, city council members and residents, and filled a room after only one day of notice.

"It's nice to see these people concerned," said Sgt. Mike Harms. "We've been saying this for 20 years."

Denica De Foy November 18, 2012 at 03:23 PM
This is a horrible, one sided "article" that the writer should be EMBARRASSED by. I unfollowed the Patch on twitter after reading this hateful, pro-gentrification waste of words. This article was topped only by one other yesterday in its glib stupidity and lack of understanding into a complicated problem. Peace, love and oh EWWW homeless people? Oh PLEASE. Wake up Santa Cruz, look in the mirror. The way our econ is that could very well be m(any) of us.
Dawn Bowman November 18, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Rex is right. It isn't just heroine. In my neighborhood there are tweekers EVERYWHERE!! The tweekers will steal you blind. The homeless aren't the issue it's the drugs. I live in a not so great neighborhood here in Santa Cruz, I am more afraid of what they will do than the homeless that walk around our town. Everyone is so worried about our "beautiful" city and the "ugly" homeless population. Well you know what? It's that kind of mentality that makes me sick. We are in a recession people. Those homeless people are harmless. The tweekers will rob you blind of anything and everything they can get their hands on and then try to sell it back to you because they have forgotten who they stole it from.
Tbrizzer November 18, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Where in this article does it say homeless people in general? It very cleary is speaks of the transients that are committing crimes and leaving needles and trash everywhere... If you don't see that as a problem you don't get out much folks...
Lisa November 19, 2012 at 12:50 AM
"The meeting was attended by police, city council members and residents, and filled a room after only one day of notice." How did one receive notice of this meeting? I certainly never heard about it, and as a volunteer with the SCPD - that worries me.
Chris Jordan November 19, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Odd wording - 1. "Santa Cruz has been going through a new wave of people who are tired of the crime and pollution transients are bringing into the city." (in other words: no one said a thing about rolling drug stores or 4-tree I suppose) 2. "We've been saying this for 20 years." Yes, over 10 years, transients/tweekers have been out of control hiding in bright daylight- many of them having "code 6 warrants", that elderly lady was knocked down a few years ago as was that other elderly lady who was forcibly raped. New wave? I doubt that. A majority of people have been sick and tired of this type of crime for years. Some people are blind; but can see perfectly well. I go out of town for the weekend and come back to another murder, motor homes roaming and parked right by our Police station on Center Street. Yup; same old Santa Cruz. Deputize that old Toyota! It has been on Woodrow 5 years- must be movin' on up!!!


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