The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Bomb Threat At Loma Linda ER; Suspect Faces Jail If Sane

A Hispanic man in his late 50s is in custody and is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, after causing a two-hour bomb scare at the Loma Linda University Medical Center, reports The Press-Enterprise.

Around 9 a.m., the unidentified man walked into the Emergency Room and stated that he needed help and had a bomb. The E.R. staff, noticing wires coming from the device, scanned it with a portable x-ray machine and determined that it was a credible threat.

At 9:18 a.m., deputies from the Sheriff's department evacuated the emergency room. Incoming patients were diverted to the other side of the hospital and incoming helicopters were sent to the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

Two hours later, at about 11 a.m., the bomb squad removed the man and the device and examined the device in a parking garage. After determining that the device was inert, the emergency room was reopened and the man was taken in for a mental examination.

The fact that he was immediately taken for a mental examination makes one wonder if he is going to even be competent enough to be punished for his actions. It is unconstitutional to make someone stand trial if they are so mentally impaired that they cannot understand the charges against them and assist in their defense. If he is too far gone to be tried, he'll likely be held in a psychiatric hospital until he is competent to stand trial.

Should be prove competent to stand trial, he faces up to a year in jail or state prison for his false bomb threat. The penal code provision covers knowingly making false bomb threats, as well as showing up with a fake device.

Related Resources: