31 arrests made overnight after 3-day Santa Rosa curfew began
After giving protesters leeway during the first night of a citywide curfew, Santa Rosa police said Tuesday they likely will squeeze harder on night two in an effort to prevent another round of vandalism and property damage.
Police arrested 27 people and the CHP four in a third night of anti-police brutality demonstrations that were followed by instances of violence after the curfew began Monday night. The curfew will be in effect nightly from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Thursday morning and much of downtown will be blocked off to vehicles during that time.
Although the curfew began at 8 p.m. Monday, police allowed the mostly peaceful protesting to continue throughout downtown Santa Rosa until about 11 p.m., when some in the crowd began throwing rocks and bottles at police, squad cars and private vehicles.
Santa Rosa police Chief Ray Navarro said some people may not have known about the curfew on Monday and officers allowed peaceful demonstrations to continue.
“But it’s been 24 hours, it’s going to be different tonight,” he said Tuesday. “We will have the resources in place to effect enforcement earlier. It may not be right at 8, but it may be earlier.
“We will be prepared to take quick action,” Navarro said.
Mayor Tom Schwedhelm said he was disappointed by the damage to the downtown area but expressed a belief shared by other city officials: that the people causing destruction overnight are distinguishable from the larger, peaceful contingent whose demonstrations are more prevalent in the daytime.
“They’re sharing their frustration, they’re doing it in a peaceful way,” he said. “We totally respect that and we totally allow that.”
However, he reiterated that the city would not tolerate looting, vandalism or assault, and added that “I don’t think blocking 101 has an eye toward improving Santa Rosa.”
The damage estimate remained unclear Tuesday afternoon. Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Chris Mahurin’s best estimate was “tens of thousands” of dollars, mostly in the form of graffiti and some broken windows. Some looting occurred Sunday night, but it wasn’t clear if or how much took place Monday night.
At least three people are believed to have been injured after being shot by rubber bullets, all apparently after police have issued orders to disperse from the scenes of unlawful assemblies. Police Lt. Jeneane Kucker said she also was aware of “about three” such instances and said that “during these chaotic events, it’s difficult to tell until people come forward to let us know they were injured.”
One Santa Rosa man was arrested on suspicion of shooting business windows with a pellet gun.
Francisco Javier Orozco, 30, remained in Sonoma County Jail on Tuesday morning and faces one felony vandalism charge and two other misdemeanors, including probation violation, when he appears in court Wednesday.
The other 26 people arrested were taken into custody after ignoring orders to disperse around 11 p.m., Kucker said.
Seventeen of them are adults and 10 are juveniles. One is from Petaluma and the rest from Santa Rosa.
Before the curfew went into effect, four people were arrested after entering the northbound lanes of Highway 101 south of Steele Lane around 5:15 p.m., CHP Officer David deRutte said.