Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Man sent to prison for his part in May Day riot in Santa Cruz

Nov. 22, 2010 Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ - In a hearing that drew the police chief and several downtown
business owners, a 24-year-old man was sentenced Monday to two years in
prison after admitting to charges of vandalism and inciting a riot
stemming from the May Day melee in downtown Santa Cruz.

Jimi Haynes, a former Vanguard University student who was homeless and had
recently come to Santa Cruz from Fresno County, could have received more
than seven years in prison, the prosecutor said. He has a history of petty

But Judge Michael Barton chose the mid-term sentence on the felony
vandalism charge. It carries a sentence of 16 months, two years or three
years. Barton chose not to count a previous felony burglary conviction
that could have doubled the term.

Prosecutor Kristina Oven said she thought he deserved a longer sentence
for a pattern of conduct that had escalated.

Public defender Kristin Carter argued for 16 months, saying Haynes
cooperated with police and took responsibility. She said a lot of his
troubles stem from alcohol use, and that he had eight or nine beers on May
1 and was looking for a party.

Haynes apologized for the "destruction" he caused, and wiped tears from
his eyes as a pastor testified on his behalf.

Theodore Petrikis, pastor at New Life Community Church, said Haynes is an
intelligent young man with potential who sometimes acts like an idiot
because of his alcohol habits. He is not an anarchist, Petrikis said,
despite the District Attorney's "hunt" to prove that. He added that he
hoped Haynes will have an epiphany and change his ways.

Barton seemed unswayed by Hayne's expression of remorse, and agreed with
the "idiot" characterization.

"Mr. Haynes, you really are an idiot," he said. "...You've been given
chance after chance after chance. You're a thief and an idiot and an

Haynes appeared somewhat agitated and smiled at times throughout the
proceeding, before the judge took him to task.

He was sentenced after testimony from Interim Police Chief Kevin Vogel,
who related how thin police were stretched during the riot, and after a
witness said he saw Haynes shout a profane verb about police and say
"let's keep the riot going," before smashing his fist into a window of
Dell Williams Jewelers on Pacific Avenue.

Vogel said police called for help from all six other county-based law
enforcement agencies, and that 41 officers were assembled within about 30
minutes to confront the out-of-control crowd. If the riot had continued,
police might have had to use tear gas or otherwise escalate the use of
force to quell the rioters, he said.

After the hearing, Vogel said he thought two years was a fair sentence.

Police turned the investigation over to the FBI. Vogel said Monday he
believes they are still working on it.

It's unclear who organized the May Day event marking the international
labor movement, or why. It was advertised as a May Day dance party at UC
Santa Cruz and other places, and drew an estimated 250 people. The "party"
ended with masked rioters throwing rocks through store windows and
splashing paint and scrawling anarchist messages on buildings. Rioters,
some of whom carried lighted torches, caused more than $100,000 in damage
to 18 businesses.

Police have said they believe an anarchist group was responsible for the
One other arrest was made that night.

Thomas Williams, a 41-year-old transient, was arrested on suspicion of
public drunkenness, resisting arrest and possessing less than an ounce of
marijuana. On July 15, Williams was sentenced to three months in jail, 50
hours of volunteer service and ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous and
stay away from Pacific Avenue.

Monday's hearing drew about 12 downtown business people, including a
manager from Dell Williams, Emily Bernard. Bernard testified that the
window repair cost about the business about $3,900.

After the hearing, she said she was pleased with the sentence.

"I feel like it was important to recognize the severity of what he did,
and I feel like the judge did that," she said. "It's important for our
community to make a strong statement; that we won't tolerate this type of
behavior in the heart of our community."

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