For Rick Bosetti, the Battle for South City Park Gets Personal

“If we do nothing, then they win,” said former Redding Mayor Rick Bosetti of the criminal element that has taken up residence at South City Park. “And there’s no reason for them to win.”

Rarely one to sugarcoat his feelings, Bosetti was even less inclined to be charitable after being assaulted by a transient over the Memorial Day weekend while readying Tiger Field for a Colt 45s game.

“The only thing they respect is strength. If you’re passive, they’ll continue to walk all over you,” said Bosetti, the general manager of the Colt 45s, who was unhurt but still riled up on Thursday when reached at the Colt 45s clubhouse.

Redding Colt 45s in action during the 2017 season. Photo by Jon Lewis.

Bosetti said the dustup began when he stopped to photograph a group of transients setting up an illegal camp in the park near the bocce ball courts. Bosetti, who performs maintenance at Tiger Field on a daily basis, said both Redding police and Good News Rescue Mission staff have asked him to document the more egregious violators.

“Then this gal went berserk and came after me, using every foul word imaginable,” he said. As he opened the door to his pickup truck, the woman grabbed him and pulled his hand away from the door. “I was able to spin around, get a hand on her and I shoved her out the door,” Bosetti said. While calling police from inside the cab of his truck, the woman used a rock to shatter the trunk’s windshield. Bosetti said she was wearing what appeared to be jail-issued clothing.

Rick Bosetti.

Redding police arrived and arrested her; when she was placed in a patrol car, she proceeded to kick the rear windows hard enough to knock them off their tracks. Adding insult to injury, the woman was released from custody and back at the park by game time, at which point she then angrily confronted Bosetti’s wife, Patty.

“The incident with Rick was very unfortunate,” said Redding Police Chief Roger Moore. “A lot of mentally ill people take refuge in parks, some of them can be violent and that’s unfortunate.”

On his Facebook page and on his “Free Fire” radio program (KCNR 1460-AM), Carl Bott publicized the assault—and the related issues at the park, such as litter, human waste, used hypodermic needles, drug use and thefts—and titled it “The Battle For South City Park.”

Asked Bott: “When will the City Council step up and make a stand? Frankly, when did we as Redding citizens say it is okay to shoot up, assault, steal, destroy and walk out of jail the same day to do it again?”

Thursday morning on his radio program, with Redding Mayor Kristen Schreder as his guest, Bott said “we’ve lost control of the park, would you agree?” Yes, Schreder said, “it’s not a place where anybody would feel comfortable.” The mayor was then quick to praise the work put in to rejuvenate historic Tiger Field. “Rick and Patty have done a great job. I totally feel safe at a Colt 45s game,” said Schreder, who attended Monday’s game.

The outfield at Tiger Field on Thursday. Photo by Jon Lewis.

A near-term solution, proposed by Bosetti and scheduled to be considered by the City Council at its Tuesday meeting, is to reconfigure the fencing to separate the “active play” areas from the “open picnic” areas. The active play areas include the tennis and bocce ball courts, both of which would available for use through the same reservation process used for Diestlehorst Bridge and the gazebo in Lake Redding Park.

Bosetti said he can secure some 8-foot-tall wrought iron fencing for the project. The fencing was once part of the Travis Federal Credit Union ballpark in Vacaville; Simpson University acquired the grandstands and fencing with the goal of building a ballpark on its Redding campus. Simpson’s ballpark plans are on indefinite hold and the Redhawks continue to play their home games at Tiger Field.

Proposed fence configuration at South City Park.

Moore said he supports the bolstered fencing plan but concedes “there will be unintended consequences. If we push people out of this area, they may go to a private business or down to the river.”

Redding police are not alone in the battle for South City Park, Moore said. “It’s not just us; we can’t arrest our way out of these problems. We need public health, mental health, social services, jail space … it is a city and countywide problem we’re up against.”

On Saturday, Redding police joined officers from the Anderson Police Department and the Shasta County Probation Department to conduct a criminal sweep that included South City Park. Officers on bikes and ATVs joined others in patrol cars and contacted more than 80 individuals. Some seven citations were issued and 13 arrests were made on warrants and various narcotics violations.

Moore said planning for the sweep began two to three weeks earlier and was not in direct response to the assault on Bosetti. “We can’t control what happens when we take somebody to jail; what we can control is illegal behavior. When we do sweeps, we provide (Health and Human Services Agency) information. But people have to want to get help. When they don’t seek help, we use law enforcement agencies.

“Our ultimate goal is getting them to obey Redding municipal codes and the laws of the land,” Moore said.

Meanwhile, the Colt 45s resume play Friday at 7:15 p.m. in a game against the Seattle Studs. Preston Sharp, the 12-year-old Redding resident who has received national acclaim for his determined efforts to honor every veteran’s gravesite with an American flag and a red carnation, will throw out the first pitch.

Fans that bring a 12×18 American flag and a red artificial carnation can trade them in for a general admission ticket to a future 2018 Colt 45s game. Representatives from Veterans K9 Connections will also be on hand. Veterans K9 Connections is a non-profit organization that provides service dogs and training to veterans diagnosed with PTSD, brain injuries and other disabilities.

For more info, visit www.reddingcolt45s.com

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at jonpaullewis@gmail.com.
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37 Responses

  1. Avatar Tim says:

    So assault with a deadly weapon is no longer worth an overnight stay in jail?

  2. Avatar Damon Miller says:

    “Frankly, when did we as Redding citizens say it is okay to shoot up, assault, steal, destroy and walk out of jail the same day to do it again?” At the ballot box, when Redding citizens voted down measures to fund solutions and re-elected candidate uninterested in pursuing solutions.

    And can we talk about how unacceptable it is for a local media outlet to have a logo that is crosshairs centered on the continent of Africa?

    • Avatar Bob Higgins says:

      Quite a stretch to claim “Africa” is a target. But, if you’ve gotta complain about something, I guess this is as good as it gets.

      • Avatar Ann Webber says:

        Subliminal, intended? Who knows.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        The crosshairs are in the foreground, and they converge on Africa in the background. It may be a stretch to suggest the design has nefarious intent, but it’s not a stretch at all to describe Africa as the target.

    • Avatar Tim says:

      Must be some sort of Rorschach test — I see a map, compass, and radar sweep: https://www.kcnr1460.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/free-fire-logo–300×95.png

    • Avatar Richard Christoph says:

      “Redding citizens voted down measures to fund solutions and re-elected candidate uninterested in pursuing solutions.”

      The first part of your statement is certainly true, but please consider that the only former Council member NOT re-elected in 2016 was Gary Cadd, who vehemently opposed Measure D. Council members Weaver, Schreder, Sullivan, and candidates Tate and Winter were all strongly supportive of the measure that would have raised approximately $11,000,000 annually to address the problems that have since only become worse. To state that our elected City of Redding representatives are “uninterested in pursuing solutions” is simply not true. In addition, do consider that jail space and mental health are the responsibilities of Shasta County, not the City.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. But yeah, even if there is no subliminal message intended, that logo is a bad look. In fact, anything involving crosshairs is usually a bad look. It always invites the question, “Just how are you suggesting we solve our problems?” Regardless of what’s in the background.

    • Avatar sal says:

      lol, look at any 2d world map, it’s oriented exactly the same way this is as far as continental line-up and it’s all lined up within the boundaries of the reticle, which are also found on telescopes and microscopes. Carry-on.

  3. The part about South City Park which is beyond my understanding is there are ordinances against loitering, public intoxication, possessing illegal drugs, camping, alcohol consumption and others which are openly violated withing a few yards of the Blankenship Police HQ. If people sworn to uphold the law are not engaged in actively removing this blight wherever it occurs, can our neighborhoods be any more safe and secure? If a former Mayor and his wife are targets, what chance does Joe Average have in Redding?

    • Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

      Amen to all you said. I had high hopes that when the new cop shop was built nearly adjacent to the library and South City Park that there would be fairly constant visible law enforcement in the area. Hasn’t happened.

  4. Avatar Judy Salter says:

    Vote for the new tax in November and have it address mental illness not just law enforcement. BTW, Carl and Linda Bott do not have a racial bias bone in their bodies.

    • Avatar Patricia Bay says:

      Thank you, Judy, for supporting the Botts. They are amazing, community minded people who do a lot for Redding. Attacking a logo, and interpreting it in negative ways, is extremely unproductive. It is unrelated to the issues at hand regarding the safety and restoration of our city parks. Let’s try to stay focused on solutions and not get “squirreled” in unproductive finger pointing.

  5. Avatar Aleeta Stamn says:

    In addition to Shasta County’s critical lack of mental health services, I think we need to look at the fact that most of these people have nowhere to go. We have the Mission, but it is totally inadequate space-wise, and in every other way. Women have a particularly hard time on the streets, and if they are not severely mentally ill when they become homeless, it probably doesn’t take long. I have to wonder what kind of society doesn’t prioritize helping the sick, the disabled, abused young people, domestic violence victims, etc.

    It’s very easy to become homeless. However, it takes a lot of outside help to escape that condition, which starts with the safety and stability of housing. It doesn’t need to be fancy – most of these people would greatly appreciate anything with a lock on the door, and a bed where they can sleep at night without fear. When they are getting adequate food, adequate sleep, an escape from round-the-clock extreme cold and heat, freedom from violence, and other things as basic as a shower and toilet, then all else becomes possible.

  6. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Asked Bott: “Frankly, when did we as Redding citizens say it is okay to shoot up, assault, steal, destroy and walk out of jail the same day to do it again?”

    When? After Redding’s citizens voted down a small sales tax increase to address those issues. That’s when.

    • Avatar 0.0001 says:

      Steve, it’s old news: there was no guarantee that those funds would have been spent to address those issues, you conveniently forget to mention that every time you reference that election! Go on and talk some more about how 67% is needed for that type of proposition and go on about the no new taxes people in Redding would never vote for that. Meanwhile, take time to look at all the pretty decorative lamp posts and manhole covers.

  7. Avatar Ann Webber says:

    I won’t claim to have solutions, but I don’t understand why the sweeps are thought to be a productive action. The homeless are moved out of wherever they are currently living, their belongings are removed and destroyed, and they are cited or incarcerated and released. This serves to worsen the situation, in that, they are more likely to steal to replace their belongings, they have gone deeper into debt that is not feasible for them to get out of, and they are further dehumanized. If we are not actually able to get those who need it into mental health or rehabilitation facilities, then the time, funds, and efforts of our community are wasted.

    If the funds could be redirected to help provide portable toilets that would solve one problem. Having a place to clean up with dignity can change a person’s outlook and show them some compassion.

    • Avatar George says:

      Not to mention access to water. All park faucets have been capped! This is simply evidence of hateful people.

  8. Avatar Joanne says:

    Please vote !

  9. Avatar chris solberg says:

    In a future vision eerily reminiscent of the fire hoses of Birmingham Alabama in 1963, Ex “Mayor Rick Bosetti of Redding California is using his power and authority to harass , abuse and exile the homeless in his community rather than helping them. In a time when Dr. King is used a a marketing gimmick, police abuse on the poor is on the rise and city’s across the country are criminalizing the poor. We as fellow Americans and member of Humanity must stand against actions like Mayor Rick Bosetti is proposing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knth_Ih0PRc

  10. Avatar chris solberg says:

    Former Mayor Angry Plans To Turn Sprinklers On Sleeping Homeless Park Questioned

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6HU5gEReIk

  11. Avatar Common Sense says:

    Without more Jail Space, the rest is MUTE.

    The Citizens voted down funding because they were no confident of where specifically the money would have gone. The County Shot down the Cannabis tax which would have resulted in Millions in Tax Revenues and Grants from the State and Money to Clean Up the former ” Grow Sites” in the County.

    Two Crazy choices don’t make a Sane choice!

    Common Sense is Missing …..Obviously! Without More Money for More Jail Space and More Money for staffing of such and more money for putting together more programs to help those that want to help themselves….it’s the proverbial wheel!

    Keep doing what you doing….and keep getting what you are getting…… it’s called thinking outside the box folks….It’s not rocket science here. Don’t want to pay more in taxes…..nothing changes…..Keep voting for people that Turn Down Millions in Tax Revenues?? More of the same…..

    As I have said many months ago…. So Shasta County Supervisors…what is your PLAN to offset the Millions of Dollars in Lost opportunity when you said NO to prop 64??? Yes…Money that could have been used to expand the jail…….HELLO

    VOTE PEOPLE…. Time for Change folks…..

  12. AJ AJ says:

    In the first sentence, I believe the word you want in MOOT. . . . but looking at the subject in question here, MUTE would probably also be just as appropriate.

  13. It might be helpful to understand the difference between “Registration Marks” (crossmarks used in printing and sometimes photography), “Compass Stars” (used to orient a map to the Cardinal Points–N. S. E. and W.) and “Crosshairs” (more frequently associated with telescopic sights—sporting and/or military)

    When the “Spear-points” direct the eye from the mid-point to the outside perimeter of a circle, as in this logo, you can be assured that this graphic represents something other than telescopic sights. there are no “crosshairs” in this logo.

  14. Avatar Leah says:

    Patty, Rick’s wife, is one if the nicest people in the world. All she does is hug people and smile at the baseball park. No one should even speak a harsh word to her let alone assault her.

  15. Avatar George says:

    When a society insists on ‘attacking` a situation in a manner wholly misguided, repeatedly, it is simply providing another definition of insanity. This is a hateful town in many respects. Redding is frankly, rightly frustrated but continues to be consistent in its overt detestation of those who are marginalized and disenfranchised. Because an individual chooses a certain lifestyle or is forced into a certain lifestyle, crime withstanding, does not give anyone the right to mistreat. Positive solutions exist but the will is lacking. Spite is the order of the day. Venom and hateful vitriole are but two results of spite.

    Where are the churches in all this? Why are the Christ followers so silent? Why do the Imams have nothing to say or do? The rabbi will sleep in a warm bed after a lovely warm shower. Why do housed citizens not care to allow for the fact that most on our streets suffer mental health challenges? Your first assumption is drug induced psychosis. Shame on you for choosing to be ignorant. Shame on those who have sacrificed their morals on the altar of generalizations and outright lies.

  16. I wish I had answers – I can only come up with questions and a song. https://youtu.be/p_-fJDPIar0

  17. Avatar Tim D. Rayl says:

    It doesn’t take an MBA or PHD to recognize Redding is sinking into the obis of the resulting mess created by the Transient Criminals, Homeless and Vagrants.
    I am not addressing the cause of becoming Transient, Homeless person,Vagrant or a Criminal, just offering an idea a solution to ponder.
    Until the Jail gets more beds I have a rough outline of an idea to help alleviate the problem Redding is dealing with.
    First we need a chunk of land, City owned, County owned or Privately owned.
    Fencing and Gates, portable solar power, lights.
    Second we need portable toilets and wash basins along with portable showers.
    Third we need TENTS….yes….TENTS with liners for winter just as the Military houses our Soldiers.
    Beds…..Military beds…bunks
    A bus to transport persons from the Tent Site to Services at specific times during the day.
    Visits by County Health, Social and Mental Health to the Tent Site.
    Missions,Churches and Outreaches could access Tent Facility personal in one place.
    Security Personnel to keep it safe and secure and insure rules are followed and enforced 24/7 365
    Most of this could be accomplished with donations with the exception of the Tents.
    Tents that sleep 35 persons cost about $3000.00 each. Military Tents. 5 Tents x 35 persons= 175 beds.
    Donations by Companies that reside or service Redding and Shasta County could receive Tax write offs or even more substantial tax benefits i.e. Portable toilets, water, Portable solar, Fencing and so on.
    I believe I could raise $250,000.00 in short order to SPECIFICALLY fund the Tent Facility.
    An on going Donation program/Website to further help operations costs, all funds Specifically and Solely used on the tent facility only.
    I would be the First to donate.

    • Avatar George Koen says:

      Sounds very much like my idea that I had hoped to pitch to COR. I sent an email request but never heard from anyone.

  18. Avatar Tim D. Rayl says:

    Abis

    • Avatar Roman Hruska says:

      Just shooting from the hip but taking advice on complex problems such as these from someone who cannot spell “Abyss” correctly in two tries seems misguided to say the least.

      • Avatar Tim says:

        “It’s a damn poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word.” Andrew Jackson

  19. Avatar Therese says:

    Touché

  20. Avatar Therese says:

    I live on the “cliff” directly west of the park. I am brave (or stupid) because I regularly walk my dog at Parkview Riverview Park. We also walk west and east of the Diestelhorst Bridge (I sure hope I spelled that correctly and that my grammar is above par), as I have a garden plot at the MMW community garden. I have made it my personal mission to keep that picnic area next to the gardens clean, but I digress.

    My mother was mentally-ill, homeless sometimes. She lived at the Lorenz until her suicide in 2009. I have walked and talked among the Redding homeless for quite some time now. Some I call, “my regulars”, politically correct or not. “My regulars”, quickly disappear once the weather begins to turn nice. They are nowhere to be seen today. A few will return once the criminals among them go, well, wherever they go in the winter. My MaMa would “come in, out of the cold” after being raped or beaten, and (if she were here) she would definitely, without a doubt, say; “You are not helping us by helping us”.

    Sure, those voted out of prison without any kind of back-up plan, seem destined to fail, but a few (very few) of them are trying to do the “right thing”. How does anyone expect the “deserving, I want help homeless” ever to get the resources they need, much less survive, with the criminal element so pervasive among them?

    The solution right this second is to uphold the law, even if they get out right away. Another is community boots on the ground. I say ENOUGH of the finger-pointing jabber that is proven to be of no use at all. Where are you peeps? I never see you on my walks. A little help out here would be nice, but no worries, I got this.