SANTA CRUZ – One of the 11 people charged in connection with the takeover of a vacant bank building last year was in court Thursday morning for arraignment on charges of trespassing, conspiracy and vandalism.
Becky Johnson appeared in shackles and red jail clothes in front of Judge Ariadne Symons, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Symons agreed to grant attorney Ed Frey’s request that Johnson be released on her own recognizance and ordered her to return to court March 2 to confirm a preliminary hearing date.
Johnson is among those named in the criminal complaint announced Wednesday by District Attorney Bob Lee in connection with the three-day takeover of a former bank at 75 River St. A group declaring themselves to be
acting “anonymously, autonomously in solidarity with Occupy Santa Cruz” illegally entered the building on or about Nov. 30 and remained there for nearly three days, eventually leaving without incident after numerous police negotiations.Under the terms of Johnson’s release, she was ordered to stay away from 75 River St. and cooperate with all law enforcement.
Another defendant named in the complaint is longtime Santa Cruz activist and demonstrator Robert Norse, who has frequently clashed with police and city officials. According to court records, Norse, referred to in court documents as Robert Norse Kahn, 64, was served a warrant Wednesday charging him with trespassing, felony conspiracy and vandalism. In a signed order, he was released on his own recognizance and agreed to appear in court on Feb. 21.
Those also named in the complaint are Brent Elliott Adams, Franklin Cruz Alacantara, Bradley Stuart Allen, Desiree Christine Foster, Cameron Laurendau, Edward Rector, Gabriella Ripley-Phipps, Grant Garioch Wilson and Alex Darocy.
Mike Rowe, chief of the investigations department at the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office, said he did not know how many of the warrants had been served as of
Thursday afternoon.According to jail records, Foster, 19, was booked into County Jail Thursday morning in lieu of $5,000 bail. Darocy was arrested on the charges just before noon Wednesday, according to the Sheriff’s Office, but jail records showed he was not in custody Thursday. The Sheriff’s Office did not have record of arrests of any of the other defendants as of Thursday afternoon.