LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — Police have arrested a Lakeport man in connection with a suspicious device found Sunday at a town church.
Lakeport Police said Kayden Daniel Collins, 27, was arrested Sunday afternoon.
Investigators developed information that led them to conclude that Collins was involved in placing the device on the grounds of St. John’s Episcopal Church at 1190 N. Forbes St.
Lakeport Police previously arrested Collins on June 7 at his home at 1201 N. Forbes St. — just across the street from the church — as a result of an investigation into passing counterfeit U.S. currency to provincial corporations.
Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rasmussen told Lake County News that the device found Sunday had been recovered by the Napa County Sheriff’s bomb squad and could be preserved for the ongoing investigation.
Rasmussen said the object was found on the Forbes Street edge of the church grounds, on the sidewalk.
“The church was just coming out when it was found,” Rasmussen said.
The Rev. Ed Howell, dean of the Episcopal Diocese of the Russian River Deanery in Northern California, which includes St. John’s in Lakeport, told Lake County News he was able to speak to two church members Sunday after the device was discovered, including the man who found it. .
He said that after they discovered it, church members left the site — some abandoned their cars — to clear the area. Howell said they indicated they were fine after the day’s events.
The discovery of the device led police to call for the evacuation of an area around the church, including road closures, which had been in effect for more than three and a half hours on Sunday afternoon.
Authorities issued a warning shortly after noon on Sunday about the discovery of the device. Just before 3:45 p.m., police reported that the device had been rescued by the Napa County Sheriff’s Ordnance Disposal Service, the evacuation order was lifted and the affected roads were reopened.
Rasmussen said the bomb squad took x-rays and examined the device, after which a bomb technician was able to get it to safety without removing it from the church grounds.
“We confirmed it contained a power unit, shrapnel and accelerators,” Rasmussen said.
However, he added: “I can’t be sure at this point whether or not it would have exploded.”
After it was disabled, the bomb squad turned the device over to the Lakeport Police Department for an evidence search. “It will be investigated by the crime lab,” Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen said the investigation is ongoing and police are continuing to follow directions.
Collins was incarcerated in the Lake County Jail on a felony of obstructing or resisting a peace officer and a felony count of possession of a destructive device, with a $10,000 bond. He was incarcerated early Monday.
Booking records show he is due to appear in Lake County Superior Court on Tuesday.
So far, Rasmussen said there are no ideas about the motivation to put the device in the church.
However, he said there is no indication that it is in any way a consequence of the US Supreme Court’s Friday action to overturn Roe v Wade.
“Today I don’t know that this has anything to do with that,” he said.
Rasmussen said he was in contact with Clearlake Police Chief Andrew White and Sheriff Brian Martin on Friday because they knew the Department of Homeland Security had issued a warning to law enforcement officers and first responders that day about the possibility of violence in the wake of the attack. pronunciation.
“We had no information that there was any concern locally,” Rasmussen said, explaining that he, Martin and White had a plan to contact Roman Catholic churches if necessary.
They were also in touch with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Friday, and he spoke to the FBI’s supervisor on Sunday while he was working on the case regarding the suspected device.
Howell also told Lake County News that St. John’s had not received any threats.
In addition to the Lakeport Police Department and the Napa County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad, agencies assisted in responding to the Sunday incident included Lakeport Public Works, Lakeport Fire Protection District, Northshore Fire Protection District Response Support Team, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. and Lake County Office of Emergency Services.