A Concord man named as the suspect in a bizarre attempted theft and police chase during which he allegedly threw pipe bombs at pursuing San Francisco police cars has a history of explosives use and a car bombing conviction in his past, police said Monday.
Daniel Richard Garcia, 42, was taken into custody Sunday night after a pursuit from San Francisco to Martinez, where his car was disabled by police and crashed. Last night, investigators examined at least one police car pockmarked by shrapnel from one of two bombs Garcia allegedly threw during the pursuit.
On Monday, Garcia’s Sixth Street residence was surrounded by police and searched with a bomb disposal team using a remotely controlled robot. Neighbors, who said they had heard of Garcia’s past use of explosives, expressed relief he was no longer on the street.
“They’ve got the street closed off and I heard one small explosion so they found stuff at his house,” one neighbor told NEWS24/680, possibly reporting a bomb squad detonating a device or substance found inside the home. “…I’ve never seen him. So glad he’s going to jail!”
Garcia, it turns out, has a history of explosives use – detonating a pipe bomb under a truck belonging to former roommates in Fairfield in 2011 and convicted in connection with that case the following year.
Garcia was sentenced to prison for a total of 35 years for the bombing but successfully challenged his conviction and was released in 2019.
Neighbors said on Monday he lived “under the radar” and was rumored to have had access to explosives. No one could provide a motive for Sunday’s foray into San Francisco and alleged assault on a church-goer, who told police Garcia assaulted him when he declined to give him money.
Garcia has been booked on suspicion of attempted murder, aggravated assault, evading police and 10 explosives-related charges, police reported.