Sheriff’s officials say there is no reason to believe the placement of acid bombs on a Rossmoor woman’s lawn Sunday was a hate crime.
The victim isn’t so sure.
Rusty Kennedy, executive director of Orange County Human Relations, said his organization was considering the possibility of a hate crime because the victim is an African-American who felt the incident may have been racially motivated.
“Although we have not made a final judgment, we are moved by the fact that the victim feels she was targeted because she was black,” Kennedy said. “In the realm of hate crime, the final judgment is determined by a judge, when perpetrators are caught and motive is proved.”
The woman called law enforcement shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday to report she had found the items near the driveway of her residence the 3000 block of
Investigator Kent McBride of the Orange County Sheriff's Department said one of the items exploded while the woman was on the phone with authorities.
When authorities arrived, the other items on the property had not exploded, and they were later disabled by a bomb squad, McBride said. There were no injuries, and no one was arrested.
Acid bombs are capable of ripping apart the hand of someone holding them, and the noise can rupture eardrums, McBride said.
“There's nothing to indicate that it's a hate crime,” said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, noting the victim is black. “We're taking it very seriously. Acid bombs are dangerous.”
One of the devices was found in a tree in a park across the street from the victim's home, Amormino said. The devices may have been part of a prank, he said.
Since many incidents do not lead to arrests, “We do our best to judge with the information we have, and one factor is the perception of the victims,” Kennedy said.
The victim told KCAL9, “I think that a prank would have been something like toilet papering a house or maybe egg on a window. I think you cross the line from it being a prank when you have the potential to hurt people.”
The victim said her sense of security in Rossmoor has been affected.
“We chose this community because it was safe,” she said. “This situation has definitely taken that security away from us.”
-- City News Service