SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KRON) — Two subjects in an altercation that took place in Santa Cruz Saturday were released from custody after witnesses provided police with new information, the Santa Cruz Police Department said Wednesday. The incident was originally described by involved parties as a hate crime.
Police said the incident happened in the 100 block of Blackburn Street when two dogs into an altercation. The owners of one dog, a male couple, were called homophobic epithets by the owners of the other dog, police said in a press release Sunday. One of the men was assaulted. Richard Wood, 28, of Santa Cruz, and Victoria Van Sandt were arrested on charges of assault, conspiracy and violation of one’s civil rights.
On Monday, two people who witnessed the event contacted police with more information.
“Both eyewitnesses, who left before the responding officers arrived, provided additional evidence that sheds new light on the initial statements made to officers by the individuals involved in the altercation on Saturday, April 23, 2022,” police said.
After receiving the new information, police consulted the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office and released Wood and Van Sandt. The DA will determine whether criminal charges will be filed.