Tiger Who?

Murder at Shoe Park



Long-time San Clemente residents will remember the big metal shoe that used to be part of the playground at San Luis Rey Park. It was kind of weird and could smell pretty gnar from time to time, but it definitely had more character than the generic jungle gym there today, same as at every other park in every other city. But the shoe is long gone, and so too is any semblance of peace and innocence the park may have enjoyed until now.

In a tragic turn of events, the body of 26-year-old Juan Montez, a Capo Beach man, was found at the tennis courts. He had suffered upper-body trauma and apparently bled out pretty bad. You can read the details here.

This incident pulls the curtain back on the fact that the south end of San Clemente is a bit sketchier than most people would like to admit. Parts of it are fairly unsavory and the occaisonal tagging and counter-tagging lets you know that while gang activity may not be high profile, it’s present. Not surprising considering that the San Clemente and SJC gangs have been rolling since the 60s or something like that. Then there’s the the fact that southeast San Clemente, with the adjacent state park properties and other various open/public use spaces, is basically a Holiday Inn for the local transient population.

The Trestles Hood is one of the rootsiest, most down-to-earth neighborhoods going, but it’s got a little more of an edge than initially meets the eye, a fact this sad and gruesome incident makes all too apparent. Heavy. Our thoughts are with the loved ones left behind.


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