Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bondsman Thwarts Plot to Blow Up County Building

A Northern California man is in jail tonight, suspected of planning to blow up a county building in Yreka.

46-year-old Michael Solano of Sacramento is under arrest.

Police say he was found with a large amount of weapons, ammunition and homemade bombs.

Police believe Solano may have intended to blow up the Siskiyou County Probation building. He had been arrested before, for having an explosive device in his car at the probation building in July. He missed his court date in Yreka on Tuesday.

When police stopped Solano in a Yreka neighborhood, they were shocked by what they found.

Brett Duncan was there, and he still can't believe what happened in the quiet neighborhood Tuesday evening.

"My gut instinct whatever was happening just wasn't right," Duncan said.

As he was leaving work, Duncan noticed a suspicious car parked in front of the Siskiyou County Probation Department. He is a bail bondsman and recognized the driver, Michael Solano, a Sacramento man he had posted bail for.

Duncan called police and when officers stopped Solano's car, they say Solano reached for his gun. The officers struggled to get the gun out of Solano's hand - that's when Duncan sprung into action.

"I ran over to area grabbed Mr. Solano's arm and held it down pointing toward the ground," he said.

Police say they handcuffed Solano, and he kept screaming for officers to kill him.

They found a pipe bomb attached to his leg. Inside his car, they found all this.

70 loaded magazines, 4,000 rounds of ammunition, assault rifles with silencers along with day and night surveillance equipment.

"This guy was going to reign war on Yreka, without citizens that assisted in this situation, I feel incident wouldn't have gone as well and somebody would have gotten seriously injured or killed," said Chief Brian Bowles, of the Yreka Police Department.

"Reflecting back on it I guess it would frighten anyone who realized you were sitting so close to a carload of bombs," said Duncan.

When police discovered Solano had a pipe bomb at tached to his leg, they surrounding area was immediately evacuated. Residents say they were kept out of their homes for several hours.

Gary Giles watched the incident from his porch.

"It was pretty scary when they told us we had to leave the area, they started going door to door," Giles said.

Duncan says he was just in the right place at the right time.

"I don't know how would have occurred what would have I'm glad I didn't have to find out," Giles said.

After Solano was taken into custody, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office' bomb squad was brought in.

17 improvised explosive devices were taken to the Siskiyou County Airport area to be destroyed.

Solano faces charges of possession and transportation of destruction device, assault with a fire arm on police officer and attempting to take an officers firearm.

Chief Bowles says the case is still under investigation, they say they are still examining some other material inside the vehicle to try to figure out why he was there. Solano is being held on $2 million bail at the Siskiyou County Jail.

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