Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on March 29, 2024
Concord Man Convicted for SF Cathedral Assault and Explosive High-Speed Bay Area ChaseSource: Google Street View

A man from Concord, named Daniel Garcia, 42, was convicted on several charges resulting from detonating explosives and leading police on a tumultuous high-speed chase from San Francisco to the East Bay, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins reported today.

Following a jury trial, Mr. Garcia was found guilty of three counts of detonating an explosive device with intent to injure, four counts of possessing an explosive device, and one count of evading an officer with willful disregard for people or property, the District Attorney's office said in a statement. "The jury’s verdict holds Mr. Garcia accountable for his brazen lawlessness, which endangered countless lives, including San Francisco police officers who bravely pursued him in the face of explosive devices being thrown at them," stated District Attorney Jenkins.

The conviction stems from an incident on October 29, 2023, where Garcia reportedly drove to San Francisco from his home in Concord and assaulted a parishioner during a 5pm mass at St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, according to testimony at the trial. After punching the parishioner into unconsciousness in a dispute over torn shorts, he fled the church and tossed a homemade explosive device at pursuing police officers.

With cops in close pursuit, Garcia sped through city streets, throwing another explosive and continuing his escape onto the Bay Bridge and through the East Bay. According to reports, the chase grew to include three SFPD vehicles, three California Highway Patrol vehicles, and a helicopter. The dangerous chase finally ended in Martinez when Garcia was forced to pull over after his tire blew, and another explosive device was found in his vehicle. "How many GTA stars do you think I had?" Garcia reportedly quipped to the officers, referencing the "Grand Theft Auto" video game.

Garcia's Concord home was later searched, unearthing materials to make pipe bombs, including four additional bottles filled with gasoline. During his trial, he admitted to constructing the bombs himself, the District Attorney's office reported. Assistant District Attorney Edward Mario stated, "Mr. Garcia has shown no remorse for his actions, but the jury’s verdict ensures that he will face accountability for his unprompted violent and reckless behavior."

Currently, Garcia is being held in custody and faces up to fourteen years in state prison for his crimes. His sentencing is scheduled for April 23, and it is still to be determined if the incidents occurred while he was out on bail for a separate felony, which could influence his sentencing.