WATSONVILLE, Calif. - A 47-year-old man caused police and sheriff's deputies to swarm the Watsonville courthouse when he threatened to shoot people following a child custody hearing Thursday.I don't know anything about this case, but it appears that this man was frustrated that his kid was foster care and the court was blocking him from seeing his child, so he made a foolish empty threat. There was no gun and he did not attempt to shoot anyone.
Brian Funk, of Santa Cruz, was calm during a child custody hearing, Santa Cruz County Sheriff's deputies said. But about an hour later, at noon, he called his child's foster mother.
He told the foster mother that he had hidden a gun in the bushes outside the courthouse on Second Street, according to deputies. Funk threatened that he was going to retrieve the gun and shoot someone.
All streets around the courthouse were shut down and law enforcement officers surrounded the area, which is packed with schools, libraries, and other public service buildings.
Police officers said they found Funk trying to leave Watsonville on a metro bus less than an hour later. Funk was taken into custody and his mental health is being evaluated.
I am not condoning the threat, but I would order a mental health evaluation of the Watsonville court officials. I think that they are all mentally defective. I also would not necessarily believe the foster mom. Maybe she made up the story in order to keep the child, and to keep getting the monthly payments for having the child.
This article tells a somewhat different story, and says that Funk was arrested on a minor drug charge in March.
Update: A reader writes:
I saw the article on "Angry Dad" about "Dad Threatens Gun Violence After Custody Battle," i.e., "Watsonville courthouse swarmed after child custody hearing." I was initially surprised that it was NOT a "Mexican-American" since there are so many in the area and their family values are different from those typically found in the U.S. (see attached article, The Myth of Hispanic Family Values)Yes, Watsonville is mostly Mexican. The city of Santa Cruz is most white liberals advocate open immigration but try to keep the Watsonville Mexicans a safe distance away.
I had always heard that in the U.S., but have been unable to prove, that metal detectors were first introduced in Family Law Courts, not Criminal Law courts. If true, it speaks volumes about the laws and the "just-us" that is practiced therein. I have read emails from fathers who were planning on introducing violence to the courtroom of their child custody hearing, child support hearing etc. In fact, I believe, but once again don't have proof, that THE reason for the introduction of metal detectors was the unusually high number of Family Law Court Justices who were shot and killed after the radically changed Child Support Laws of 1994.
The Santa Cruz county courthouse has always been in the city of Santa Cruz, but a branch courthouse was opened in Watsonville several years ago. It handles juvenile delinquents, family court, child abuse, and other problems common to Mexican-Americans. It has the family court judge for the whole county, so that is where my hearing are as well.
The metal detectors in both courts were indeed installed because of the family court, not the criminal court. I have forgotten the details, but there was a shooting in front of the Santa Cruz court in the 1990s, where a parent shot the lawyer of the other parent. The courthouse had a nice design making it very open to the public, but the entrances were all locked in order to route everyone thru a metal detector. There has never been a problem with the criminal court, as far as I know.
The fact that metal detectors were put in for the family court, not the criminal court, should tell you all you need to know. People understand that we need a criminal court, and their operations have broad acceptance of the public (with the possible exception of certain drug crimes). Much of what the family court does seems unnecessary, irrational, and cruel.