Update on last week's activity

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Nader Oweis, UC Santa Cruz Chief of Police

Last week, the campus saw 4,000 to 5,000 people drawn to the Porter Meadow for the unfortunate annual 420 event. Although this was a notable decrease from the prior two years, we estimate that 60 to 70 percent of participants were not affiliated with UC Santa Cruz, and their presence still created a significant burden for our campus.

Our public safety actions were primarily centered around three objectives: keeping the peace, caretaking the community, and enforcing the law in a reasonable and appropriate manner. We had an obligation to make sure faculty, staff, students, and our neighboring community remained safe throughout the day, without solely focusing on the Porter Meadow. Fortunately there weren't any major incidents. However, officers did make several arrests that helped to maintain a safe campus:

  • At 4 p.m., officers conducted a traffic stop on Heller Drive at the Redwood Grove Apartments and arrested two Castroville men, ages 20 and 22, on suspicion of felony possession of a loaded firearm, possession of a concealed firearm, transportation of marijuana for sales, and possession of marijuana for sales. Officers found more than three ounces of marijuana and a fully loaded high-capacity magazine in their vehicle.
  • One non-affiliate was arrested for felony possession of a knife and club, along with possession of marijuana on Coolidge Drive at the "lookout."
  • During the three hours that the California Highway Patrol operated a sobriety checkpoint at Heller Drive and Empire Grade Road, officers reported that hundreds of vehicles passed through the checkpoint. Three arrests were made: one for DUI involving alcohol, two for DUI involving marijuana.
  • Approximately 25 individuals were cited for possession of marijuana. Dozens more were warned.
  • One individual was cited for being a minor in possession of alcohol. Approximately 125 individuals were cited for traffic-related violations.
  • One individual was arrested for being intoxicated in public and battery on an officer as the subject resisted by spitting on the officer while being taken into custody. Another individual was arrested for being intoxicated in public and resisting arrest.
  • At approximately 6 p.m., a female student was transported to the hospital due to the effects of marijuana ingestion.

Officers on duty came from all 10 UC campuses, the California Highway Patrol, Santa Cruz Police Department, and Capitola Police Department. The City of Santa Cruz Fire Department was also on scene at the Porter Meadow for the majority of the day.