Kentucky Street's Recent Rise in Rampant Crime
by Carson Delarosa (he/him)
Crime rates have spiked in Petaluma’s Downtown, particularly on Kentucky Street, since June 2022. As of September, Petaluma Police have responded to this rise in crime by increasing the number of patrol officers around the area.
With so many bars around the Kentucky Street area, there are often disturbances; however the recent surge in assaults and murder have shaken up the residents of Petaluma. “I have been here for 26 years and I have walked downtown before and have enjoyed all of the people and stores," said Petaluma resident Jose Corrales. "I have enjoyed the safety of downtown and am surprised and disappointed that I do not feel as safe as I have to look around more and stay vigilant. Especially at night."
Earlier in the summer, PHS alumni Alejandro Sanchez and his twin brother Luis Sanchez were arrested for the murder of Adolfo Martinez Pena, a 23-year-old from Novato. This took place over the weekend of July 9-10 and on Keller Street, just one street away from Kentucky. The cause for this murder is still being determined, though police have released that the victim in question was found with multiple puncture wounds and was reported by witnesses to have been assaulted with a baseball bat.
Then, on August 27, the crime wave peaked in the middle of the night as the Petaluma Police received four calls for seven total assaults, all starting at 1:15 AM near local bar the Roaring Donkey.
The Petaluma Police Department has stated as of Sept. 1 that there have been 67 calls to the area since June. This surge in recent violent activity eventually led to increased police patrol cars surrounding the Kentucky Street area for Labor Day weekend and beyond.