Explosion leads to San Francisco paramedic's arrest

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A San Francisco Fire Department paramedic has been arrested and charged with setting off an explosive device outside his neighbor's home. (KGO-TV)

A San Francisco Fire Department paramedic has been arrested and charged with setting off an explosive device outside his neighbor's home.

Residents say it happened after a long, drawn out battle over parking spaces on the street where they live.

Thirty-two-year-old paramedic James Novello was arrested and charged with detonating the explosive device early Wednesday morning.

Police sources tell ABC7 News, Novello set off the bomb in a planter box in front of a neighbor's house on the 100 block of Madrid Street.

A neighbor says she heard the explosion just after she came home from work around two in the morning.

Elias Cabrera lives across the street. "A lot of police was over here talking to a lot of neighbors around here," Cabrera said.

A police source said just after the explosion, one resident saw the suspect standing outside his home. A search of his home, police say, turned up explosive materials. Another neighbor, police say, reported that his home had been vandalized that same night. And at least half a dozen cars parked on the street near Novello's home had their tires slashed.

"The guy over there, he put his car down there and then someone slashed his tires," Cabrera said.

Most of the neighbors who spoke to ABC7 News said they feared retaliation because they don't know who slashed the tires and vandalized the home. They do say there's been a longstanding battle with Novello over parking spaces on the street.

"If you put the car in front of his house, he gets mad. Yeah he gets mad parking down there," Cabrera said.

The fire department says they're aware of the arrest and are currently working with SFPD to investigate this personnel matter. Novello is currently in a non-working status.
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