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Here we go again ... blaming the police

A considerable amount of the public’s time – and a lot of city business delayed – on Monday, May 10 when a Ceres mother name Sonya Ruiz got up to complain about how her son was treated when she called 9-1-1 to have officers come out and deal with her son.

She spoke only Spanish to the council. Apparently the mayor knew she was coming because the city arranged for an interpreter to translate for her.

If the translation was accurate, Mrs. Ruiz made some bizarre and contradictory claims. She alleged that an injustice was done to her son, publicly identified as a Mae Hensley eighth-grader. Ruiz said she had to call police on April 20 because their son was threatening to leave home because he couldn’t do his homework as they lost their internet service at home for failing to pay their bill as the result of her being out of work and the dad being disabled. She said his threats to leave began two days prior.

“We called the police so that they could try to make him understand that he needed to pay attention to his parents,” Ruiz said through the interpreter.

Their son’s disability was not made clear (she said he suffers from “brain paralysis,” whatever that is) but already we have a picture of parents who lost control of a son and wanting police to intervene.

What exactly led officers to arrest the boy has not been disclosed. He was handcuffed and booked into Juvenile Hall where he stayed for 10 days. He was sent home with an ankle bracelet.

Apparently Mrs. Ruiz was also upset that “the police came and never spoke Spanish to us.” It must be frustrating to have never learned to speak the predominant language used in your adopted country.

While she boldly proclaimed that “more than half the police report is a lie,” she also claimed she didn’t know why her son was arrested. How can she claim not knowing why her son was arrested when she must have read the report to be able to make the claim that half of the report was fictionalized?

Judging by others who chimed in, we have an idea that the arrest was due to an alleged assault. Police officers took photographs of Mrs. Ruiz’s neck and Mr. Ruiz’s leg, but they both denied that they were assaulted by their son. There may also be more to the story.

The son was released to home detention with an ankle bracelet ordered by the Juvenile Court and Mrs. Ruiz wanted to know who would pay for it. She didn’t seem grateful that her son got out of jail and could serve his time at home.

“I don’t think it’s just that us as parents or a community would have to pay for this. This is an injustice because we were never in danger as the police report states,” she said.

Whenever parents call police on a defiant youth, there is always a risk of arrest when a youth has physically assaulted parents.

Eyeballs must have rolled when she said, “Because we didn’t have internet to do his homework we has taken away and treated like a criminal … for 10 days he was put in jail.”

Ruiz suggested that “police should ask if the kids are normal kids. Unfortunately my son is very intelligent but he is not normal.”

There is a difference between a person not being “normal” and a person physically assaulting others too.

Councilwoman Linda Ryno probed deeper, asking about the statement that the officer did not speak Spanish, to which the story changed to that she found out that he did speak Spanish “towards the end when her husband informed him that he did not speak English.” That’s a far cry from her earlier statement: “the police came and never spoke Spanish to us.”

The strange statements continued: “The lady officer said he’s going to go for a couple of hours so he can learn to respect. It might last one or two days but he’ll come back today; and those two hours turned into 10 days and my son remains on house arrest.” Huh?

Most outlandish of statements was in answer to Ryno’s direct question made to the interpreter: “so she believes he was arrested because he didn’t have internet?” The reply: “I think that the police needed business that day.”

Sure, make the police the scapegoat. That’s what CNN and MSNBC has been preaching.

If that wasn’t interesting enough a Debbie Martinez, a Latino advocate, said: “Unfortunately he had to go to school with an ankle bracelet. This really hurts my heart because how many more (plural of name withheld) are out there with mental health issues that all they want to do is complete their homework, that all they want to do is feel some sort of engagement back in school. This pandemic has really, really has took a toll on our children. We’re talking suicidal.”

Of course we know that this statewide lockdown – ordered by our Democrat governor who the Latino Roundtable endorsed – is responsible for youth feeling disconnected and depressed and directly becaue of the pandemic itself. That’s something that needs to be directed at Gavin Newsom, not the Ceres City Council.

Others rolled into town to pick up the social justice mantle, including John Mataka of the Grayson Neighborhood Council, who said the 9-1-1 dispatcher hung up on Ruiz because she was not calling about an emergency. Residents should always call the non-emergency line (538-5715) in dealing with things like threats of a juvenile to run away.  

Mataka suggested an alternative program when parents lose control of their kids. He also claimed there is a “systemic issue” when he suggested the public defender and DA’s offices don’t have Spanish speakers.

Latino advocates might put their efforts where they really would be effective: teaching immigrants how to speak English and thus eliminate this continual language barrier problem.

Speaking entirely in Spanish, Michael Tedoso spoke to the council pulled the old race card when he had the audacity to say: “I am sure that if it would have been a white boy they would not have put him in the cop car or in Juvenile Hall because they would have talked nice because he was white.”

Knock off with that crap. There are plenty of “white boys” in Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall. I knew of one “white boy” – who also happens to be the son of a local police officer to boot – who was arrested and spent two weeks in Juvenile Hall for knocking another kid over in the head with a bottle in self-defense as he was being attacked. Not even being the son of an officer spared him arrest and going home with an ankle bracelet.

It’s really disingenuous and dishonest when folks suggest equality is the cause when an arrest takes place.

When Mayor Lopez spoke to Tedoso and set him straight on how many officers speak Spanish and point out he is Latino, Tedoso discounted it because he was not a Mexican born Latino.

Mayor Lopez can say how we can all talk about this issue and can come up with a solution but the solution is: first, maintain control of your kids; second, learn English; third, take responsibility for what your kids do; and lastly, quit playing the victim and blame police for enforcing the law.

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I took note of a Facebook post made by a Crissy Joleen who is a dispatcher for a local agency. She stated: “you wouldn’t believe how many moms want me to send an officer to ‘put the fear of God’ into their 7-year-olds … I have to kindly tell them ‘no.’” She later said she wants kids to not be afraid of police if they need one later in life. Joleen finishes up with: “It’s a parenting issue and I can offer you programs and resources but the police isn’t one.”

It’s amazing how many parents have inept parenting skills and, of course, there’s always the problem of a kid growing up without the benefit of a mom and a dad as a team to raise that child. Often the kid goes with mom and sometimes moms are spongy when it comes to discipline.

In Ceres there are resources, including the Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children.

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Every once in a while I see things other people have written and feel they need to be shared.

Here is something my dad’s cousin shared from New Mexico.


Wisdom was written by: Reydon Recker

1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.

2. Don’t enter a pool by the stairs.

3. The man at the BBQ Grill is the closest thing to a king.

4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.

5. Request the late check-out.

6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

7. Hold heroes to a higher standard.

8. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.

9. Play with passion or don’t play at all…

10. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look them in the eye.

11. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.

12. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.

13. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.

14. You marry the girl and marry her family.

15. Be like a duck. Remain calm on the surface and paddle like crazy underneath.

16. Experience the serenity of traveling alone.

17. Never be afraid to ask out the best-looking girl in the room.

18. Never turn down a breath mint.

19. A sport coat is worth 1,000 words.

20. Try writing your own eulogy. Never stop revising.

21. Thank a veteran. Then make it up to him.

22. Eat lunch with the new kid.

23. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.

24. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win.

25. Manners maketh the man.

26. Give credit. Take the blame.

27. Stand up to bullies. Protect those bullied.

28. Write down your dreams.

29. Take time to snuggle your pets, they love you so much and are always happy to see you.

30. Be confident and humble at the same time.

31. If ever in doubt, remember whose son you are and REFUSE to just be ordinary!

32. In all things lead by example not explanation.

* * * * * 

California’s radicalism is now infecting the rest of the country.

I was a HUGE critic of the radical Xavier Becerra as California attorney general but as you know Joe Biden liked his far-left dispensation and appointed him Health and Human Services secretary.

The Washington Examiner wrote last week: “We already knew Health and Human Services secretary Xavier Becerra is radically pro-abortion. Now we see his radicalism makes him flagrantly dishonest as well, to the degree that he sounds unwilling to enforce laws he has sworn to uphold. If he won’t enforce duly passed laws restricting abortion, Becerra should leave office.”

Fat chance that’ll happen.

There isn’t one abortion scenario Becerra doesn’t like. 

He now refuses to answer a fundamental question about the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortions. The 2003 Partial Birth Abortion Act is the law of the land, and it was confirmed as constitutional by the Supreme Court’s 2007 ruling in Gonzales v. Carhart. Will he enforce the ban on the procedure as specifically defined in that act? You can bet what his answer will be, a resounding no, but he won’t be honest.

* * * * * 

You would think that someone who keeps suggesting that city staff members are violating their constitutional oaths would stop grandstanding at council meetings and refer his allegations to the civil grand jury for investigation. Unless you’re doing the bidding for someone else’s political motivations.

* * * * * 

I said it last week about being good and patient drivers and always wearing a seatbelt and here come another tragedy.

On May 8 a Hilmar mom and her nine-year-old daughter were tragically killed in a Highway 165 crash when they were ejected because they weren’t wearing their belts. Melanie Valdez, 42, and Khloie Valdez, 9, both died. I don’t understand why a parent would not make her daughter wear a belt before starting the car. Melanie must have been speeding as she tried to make a right turn from northbound 165 onto Westside Boulevard, lost control when she went into the shoulder, overcorrected and got hit by a southbound pickup. Death for the two occupants of the Kia, while the pickup’s occupants received minor injuries.

Sad and unpreventable.

Can we learn from this one folks? Buckle up all. All of us are only here for a limited number of days and your own actions can hasten the day.

This column is the opinion of Jeff Benziger, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Ceres Courier or 209 Multimedia Corporation. How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at