Were Rossmoor 'Acid Bombs' a Hate Crime?

Sheriff's investigators see no evidence the crime was racially motivated. But Orange County Human Relations considers it a possibility.

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
Mainway Drive.

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

JB December 08, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Don't get me wrong. I think it was a tragedy avoided. I am glad no one was hurt. My problem with the story is labeling it a hate crime. Can you provide us with the evidence that it may have been a hate crime? Just based on the story I didn't see any evidence that it is a hate crime other than the victim may believe its a hate crime. Why did the victim believe so? Has there been previous racially motivated attacks against her home or family since living in this area? Please elaborate. Thanks!
David & Rebecca Lara December 08, 2012 at 06:59 PM
TO ROSSMOOR ACID BOMBER FELON(S) Be aware that on December 2nd when you placed acid bombs on our Rossmoor Neighbor’s lawn, the Orange County Sheriff Department has now evaluated your acts to be a felony for each acid bomb you placed. Due to the gravity of your crime, if acting with accomplices, you will each be charged with the same crime. It has been a well known common practice, that the first felon to contact law enforcement will be provided an opportunity to negotiate a lesser sentence for the information of all persons committing these felonies. Your crime has now received national publicity which has ensured that the Orange County Sheriff Department will be strongly pursing an arrest in this matter. If you are a juvenile, it is strongly recommended that you inform your parents of your criminal acts between the hours of Saturday evening and Sunday morning. We are sure they would welcome a head start in hiring a criminal specialist. Please note, that a criminal attorney will only represent you with cash in hand. NATIONAL NEWS LINK: http://www.bet.com/news/national/2012/12/06/commentary-were-acid-bombs-in-orange-county-a-racist-attack.html
Sachi M December 08, 2012 at 09:59 PM
To REBECCA AND DAVE.....you GO guys!!! We are lucky to have such advocates in Rossmoor!!! THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO!!!
RHighlands December 10, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Happened to our house twice in rossmoor highlands a few days earlier. Bent my mailbox the second time. Thought it was a harmless teen idiot at first, but after looking at the discolored wood on my front door and straightening the mailbox, I think more malice than prank was involved.
David & Rebecca Lara December 10, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Please report this to Steven Doan, Captain Orange County Sheriff's Department - North Operations Division, Tel. (714) 647-4559, email: sdoan@ocsd.org He is in charge of the investigation.


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