Three arrested, hundreds cited at annual UCSC 4/20 celebration

Multiple arrests made at UCSC 420 celebration

SANTA CRUZ, Calif - At least three people were arrested and hundreds cited Thursday at the annual 4/20 celebration at U.C. Santa Cruz. This year marks the first since the passage of Proposition 64 that legalized marijuana in California, though it’s still a no-go on the federally funded campus. Of the estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people who showed up, most were just there to have a good time and not looking for any trouble.

“We all come here for the same reason which is to smoke weed,” said 4/20 participant Taylor Dolphin. “When you get so many (people from) different walks of life coming together and there is no conflict, it kind of shows you that there doesn’t need to be conflict at all.”

The event was largely peaceful, but UCSC police say they made three arrests for serious offenses at a DUI checkpoint that the California Highway Patrol had set up near campus. Robert Spaniel, 67, of Los Banos was arrested for having an illegal gun, police said. Later, Deemone Hopkins, 41, and Melanie Hillard, 43, from Boulder Creek were arrested with counterfeit cash and mushrooms. Police say Hillard was also wanted on a warrant.

“We know every year that there are individuals that have nothing to do with the campus that show up and commit crimes,” said U.C.-Santa Cruz Police Chief Nader Oweis.

With that in mind police added about 100 extra officers. The additional police helped keep things calm, according to police. The cost of those extra officers was about $100,000, police said.

“Luckily, this year we didn’t have any medical issues that we know about. There (were) no medical aid calls. We had no fights that we know about,” said Oweis.

Police also issued hundreds of citations.

“We issued about 120 parking citations, about 100 traffic citations which would also potentially included possession of marijuana,” added Oweis

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