General Crime

Seven Arrested for Alleged Elder Abuse, Drug Charges and Possible Bicycle Chop Shop in Santa Cruz

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Seven people were arrested on alleged elder abuse and drug charges Thursday after they were found allegedly using the home of a wheelchair-bound man for illegal purposes while he was left lying in his own urine and feces, Santa Cruz police said. Police searched the home in the 400 block of La Fonda Avenue on Thursday after receiving reports of illegal drug sales, elder abuse and a possible chop shop for bicycles, according to Deputy Chief Steve Clark.

The homeowner, a 59-year-old wheelchair-bound man, was found lying in his own urine and feces, Clark said. Police found numerous people coming and going from the house and using it as a base for alleged criminal activities, and none of them providing even basic care for the homeowner, Clark said. Detectives found more than 30 intact bicycles and more than 50 dismantled bicycles on the property.

Seven people were arrested on charges including drug sales, drug possession, drug paraphernalia and elder abuse. Five of the seven were claiming residence in the home. The house was red-tagged as uninhabitable by city officials. The homeowner was hospitalized for observation and care, Clark said. Those arrested included Shana DiMartino, 37, Susan Husted, 49, John Dowden, 52, Adelma Dowden, 48, Perry Brown, 42, Jodi Widman, 30, and Aaron Hamrick, 37.

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