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New year ushered in without major crime

Posted: Friday, Jan 3rd, 2014

WATSONVILLE — New Year’s Eve was quiet in the city crime-wise, according to the Watsonville Police Department.

Watsonville Police Det. Charles Bailey said only one report, a drug charge, was taken during the evening on Tuesday.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day saw a “handful” of DUI arrests, according to Bailey.

“All in all, the holidays were pretty quiet for us,” he said.

New Year’s Day was busier when two Watsonville residents were arrested after they led police on a high-speed chase through the city.

According to Sgt. Brian Ridgway, around 9 a.m., Officer Bryan Rodriguez spotted a red 1995 Ford Aerostar in the parking lot of Motel 6 on Silverleaf Drive. That vehicle had been reported stolen out of King City just after midnight on Wednesday.

Shortly after spotting the vehicle, two males exited the motel and entered the van. A 15-year-old Hispanic male was the driver and 27-year-old Yovani Zamora was later identified as the passenger, Ridgway said.

The vehicle pulled out of the parking lot and Rodriguez pulled in behind it. As he attempted to pull over the suspect, he drove onto southbound Highway 1 and then accelerated to 90 mph with Rodriguez in pursuit, according to Ridgway.

The vehicle exited at Riverside Drive and drove toward Ohlone Parkway. The suspect drove into a residential neighborhood, traveling through several residential streets, and stopped on Quinta Vista Street. Both the driver and Zamora exited the vehicle and fled on foot.

Rodriguez quickly apprehended the 15-year-old driver and put out the description of Zamora along with his direction of travel. Incoming officers quickly located Zamora as he fled on foot and apprehended him without incident.

The juvenile male was charged with vehicle theft, resisting arrest, failure to yield, possession of burglary tools and participation in a criminal street gang. Zamora was charged with vehicle theft, resisting arrest and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Watsonville Police Department Crime Tip line at 728-3544 or the Watsonville Police Department Investigation Bureau at 768-3352.

In Capitola during New Year’s Eve, the Capitola Police Department Police Volunteers received calls and provided rides home to nearly 200 people who were too intoxicated to drive a vehicle.

This number almost doubled the amount of safe rides given in 2012, according to police.

The Capitola Police Department has organized and run the “Safe Ride Home” program for 25 years.

Santa Cruz ushered in 2014 without any major incidents of violence, according to Deputy Chief of Police Steve Clark.

Downtown Santa Cruz was the site of the Do-It-Yourself New Year’s Parade, as well as the city-sponsored Countdown Celebration at the Town Clock.

Police estimated the crowd size at the Town Clock to be 4,500, down from last year’s estimate of 7,000, Clark said.

Throughout the 12-hour period from 5 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday, police responded to 222 calls for service, according to Clark. A total of 20 people were arrested, 17 of those for public intoxication, in addition to 81 citations.

Last year, officers made 22 arrests.

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