by Linda Mumma

MODESTO (CBS13) — The city of Modesto’s plan to shuts down a temporary outdoor shelter at the end of November could cause an increase in violence, worry some Modesto residents.

Patty Godfrey works in downtown Modesto. She’s concerned about a potential increase in violence with the homeless. When the city shuts down a temporary outdoor emergency shelter at the end of November.

“Some of my coworkers have had incidents of violence happen to them and it is a concern for all the employees,” Godfrey said.

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Marci Katz’s booking photo. (credit: Modesto Police)

Over the weekend, police arrested Marci Katz for allegedly throwing a cup of scalding hot water at a barista.

“I think it’s sad and terrible that it happened to them for no reason,” Godfrey said.

Police say the woman was known to employees for staying in the restroom for long periods of time, so one of the baristas told her not to use it for longer than 10 minutes.

That’s when police say she threw the cup of water at him, causing first- and second-degree burns to his face and neck.

“I didn’t hear about that incident with the Starbucks, but I know that Starbucks and it’s a main hangout for the homeless,” Emilio Martinez, Modesto resident, said.

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A spokesperson for Starbucks told CBS13 the barista is okay and has already returned to work.

Starbucks allows people to use the restroom even if they do not make a purchase. Katz was arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Jail.

The incident has prompted people to think about the potential impacts to the community following the closure of the temporary shelter.

“We know when the homeless exist without any place to sleep, they camp out in the doorways try to come and bum money for food and basically create a really poor environment for business,” Martinez said.

As part of an agreement with the county, the Salvation Army will add 182 beds to a center on 9th and D Streets. The county is also working to buy and renovate a motel on Kansas Avenue to provide space for about 200 people, but it’s not a done deal. This leaves some worried about the homeless having nowhere else to go.


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