Man arrested for allegedly planting bomb near San Jose businesses, forcing evacuations, police say

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Tuesday, July 9, 2024
Man arrested for allegedly planting bomb near SJ businesses: police
San Jose police arrested a man they believe planted a viable improvised explosive device near businesses last week.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose police arrested a 56-year-old man they believe plated a viable improvised explosive device near businesses last week, forcing evacuations and the bomb squad to dispose of the device.

It happened near Ridder Park Drive and Fox Lane last Wednesday.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office says a suspicious device was found behind a mental health resource center called Community Solutions in San Jose.

But police only learned of this device, after getting a bizarre call.

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"The suspect had called police to report that he had planted an IED at a business," Officer Tanya Hernandez, a spokesperson for the San Jose Police Department said. "When officers arrived at the location, they located a suspicious device."

SJPD's bomb squad and SWAT team responded to the call.

A nearby elementary school, surrounding homes, and businesses were evacuated.

No one was hurt.

It's still unclear if the device was legitimate.

"We know that the device was rendered safe," Hernandez said. "There are multiple components that make up an IED. Those materials are still being tested in the lab and we're still waiting to hear back on the results of the testing."

Only a few hours later, on that same day, police found the suspect sitting in a car near the intersection of Aborn Road and Ruby Avenue.

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That's where he was safely taken into custody by police.

The 56-year-old suspect, who we've chosen not to name until his arraignment, has an extensive criminal history.

Court records show he's been in a mental health diversion program since 2021 in connection to a different felony.

Police confirm his home in San Jose was searched.

"As far as any additional devices, none were located but anything that seemed suspicious was taken to the lab for future testing," Hernandez said.

ABC7 asked about the suspect's motive, any connections to the nonprofit community solutions, and why he would report his own crime.

"Those are questions we want to know as well so it's still part of the criminal investigation at this point," she said.

Community Solutions did not respond to our requests for comment.

The suspect is facing multiple charges including possession of a destructive device.

He was scheduled to be in court on Tuesday, but the DA's office says he's refusing to leave his jail cell. His hearing has been rescheduled for Thursday.

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