A series of vandalism incidents in Danville have now been tied to an alleged pipe bomb attack in San Joaquin County. A man identified as Juan Hurtado, 30, of Patterson was arrested by investigators from the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office in connection with a Dec. 8 attack in which the man reportedly threw a lit pipe bomb at a home in Tracy.
Several incidents occurred in Danville over the two weeks between Nov. 21 and Dec. 8. Danville police Sgt. Ron Bradley said a home on Tunbridge Road was shot at with a pellet or BB gun on the 21st. Then a few days later, the next door neighbor experienced a similar attack.
Bradley said police began looking at Hurtado after the victim of the first shooting incident reported receiving a letter of apology. Allegedly the letter said that the home had been shot at by mistake and that the second home was the intended target. When police interviewed the second homeowner he suggested that Hurtado, a disgruntled former employee of his business, may have been involved. Hurtado had made threatening phone calls to the business after being terminated last year, according to reports.
The situation turned serious Dec. 8 when, after shooting at the business owner's home on Tunbridge again, Hurtado allegedly drove up to the Tracy area, approached a home he mistakenly believed was the residence of the business owner's brother, and threw a lit pipe bomb toward the house.
Police reports say a female acquaintance of the Tracy homeowner watched Hurtado light and throw the bomb. The fuse went out and the bomb did not explode. When the incident was reported to Tracy police, investigators from that department as well as the San Joaquin Sheriff's Office began looking into the case.
Hurtado was arrested Dec. 14 and a search warrant was executed at his home. Police say evidence was found in the home linking Hurtado to both the pipe bomb and the shooting incidents. He was taken into custody by San Joaquin Sheriff's officers and charged with attempted murder. He is being held on a $4 million bond, pending a Dec. 28 court appearance.
Bradley said Danville and Tracy police expect to file additional charges against Hurtado of felony vandalism and criminal threats.
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