[Hpn] Sta. Cruz vandalism spree hits three buildings - Mayor implicates homeless activists

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Wed, 06 Jun 2001 11:24:57 -0700


Published Wednesday, June 6, 2001, in the San Jose Mercury News

Santa Cruz spree hits three buildings; damage seems limited to carpeting

City Hall, law offices dry out after vandalism
Mercury News 

The soft hum of industrial blow-dryers accompanied work at two law offices
and a Santa Cruz City Hall meeting room Tuesday in the aftermath of a wave
of vandalism-by-water.

Sometime early Monday morning, the vandals apparently carried their own hose
and attached it to outdoor nozzles as they went. At City Hall, they broke a
window pane and ran the hose into a conference room. City Manager Richard
Wilson said they left about an inch of water.

At the nearby law offices of Atchison, Barisone & Condotti, where partner
John Barisone is also the city attorney, they stuck the hose into a mail
slot in the door, wedging it tight with Monday morning's just-delivered
Mercury News, according to office manager Leslie Olson. The nearest faucet
appeared to be around 30 feet away.

A block away, at the law offices of Page, Salisbury & Dudley, they flooded a
back office leased to private investigator Greg Lepore.

The water was vacuumed off the City Hall carpet, leaving no apparent damage.
At Barisone's office, an area carpet in the reception room and wall-to-wall
hallway runners had to be removed. Olson was unable to estimate the amount
of damage. ``As you can imagine,'' she said, ``I feel inundated.'' An
insurance adjustor was expected on Thursday.

At Page, Salisbury & Dudley, it was the same story: Lepore's carpet will
have to be replaced; no estimate of damage.

Police had no suspects, according to Lt. Joe Haebe, and Mayor Tim
Fitzmaurice said no local protesters had stepped forward to claim

Haebe said he hoped eventually to be able to ``connect enough dots'' to pin
the crime on someone. Given the nature of the three targets, Haebe
speculated that it might be ``the people that we're used to dealing with
that have an ax to grind against the city.''

Wilson, the city manager, said it was odd that the vandalism followed
closely on the conclusion of a well-publicized court case involving three
homeless activists and City Hall, and noted: ``The last time we had some
vandalism, it was after a court case, too.'' But there is no evidence to
connect the vandalism to the homeless activists, he said.

Fitzpatrick spoke disparagingly of those who ``don't sign their work,'' and
deplored the extra labor city workers had been put to.

Contact David L. Beck at dbeck@sjmercury.com or at (831) 423-0960.

 2000 The Mercury News

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