Monday, April 15, 2013

Costa Mesa Man Blows Himself Up

In a drama that apparently began Sunday evening, a man who lives in the Mesa Verde section of Costa Mesa killed himself with some kind of an explosive device - early reports are a pipe bomb - after an earlier visit by emergency personnel because neighbors reported him laying on his lawn.  He apparently refused help at that time and returned to his home.  A short time later neighbors called 911 again after hearing an explosion.

The event occurred at 3152 Bermuda Avenue, at a home that is very obviously ill-kept.  Windows are covered with tin foil, as is the garage door visible on this photo.  News reports last night and this morning included neighbor interviews that described the dead man, Kevin Harris, as a "loner" and a "strange guy".  Reports from the scene indicate that the explosion that took his life did extreme damage to his body.  He blew himself to smithereens!

It's our understanding that many public safety agencies have been on the scene since last night, and that it now includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Harris apparently has left behind an online manifesto titled "The Picker" - some 18,000+ words - that can be read HERE.  It's our understanding that Mayor Jim Righeimer attended the site both last night and again today - and crossed the crime scene tape.  Of course, I guess that's OK, since he has relatives in the midwest that are police officers.  What an arrogant guy!  The police should have slapped the cuffs on him and put him in the back of a patrol car!

The Daily Pilot is on the scene and filed a report earlier, HERE.  More on this as information evolves.  At this time none of the residents that were evacuated from the neighboring homes have yet returned.  Reports vary as to the number - 12-16 homes have been described as evacuated last night.

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Anonymous Napoleon in the Field said...

"It is our understanding that Mayor Jim Righeimer attended the site both last night and again today - and crossed the crime scene tape."

Possibile Reasons:

1) He was holding a Diet Coke and assumed it gave him immunity;
2) He was scouting out new development opportunities;
3) He was imitating helicopter noises to make neighbors think they still had coverage.

4/15/2013 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Prayers and thoughts to his family, if he had any, and to the neighborhood. Mental illness is not a punchline or a joke.

4/15/2013 02:54:00 PM  
Anonymous You are mistaken said...

I was at the scene and sorry to disappoint the anti-Mayor crowd, but Mr. Righeimer was invited to cross the tape to talk to myself and other officials. He was respectful and supportive of our procedures and in my opinion did what is expected of him as the mayor.

4/15/2013 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Anonymous "you are mistaken",
So, we assume you are an "official", right? Would be nice to know your identity to validate your comment. Until then, I'll stick with my information.

4/15/2013 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

The events of this day, here in Costa Mesa and in Boston, underline for me that we have a HUGE mental illness problem in this country of which the gun control debate is only a small part. My daughter has nearly a dozen friends who were at the marathon as spectators; they're all safe. We're glad that our friends and neighbors in Costa Mesa are apparently all safe.

4/15/2013 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

That means there was a camera crew there...

4/15/2013 06:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Greg said...


Except for you, almost everyone on this blog is anonymous. That seems to be your most frequent defense when someone disagrees with you.

I would say your source has about as much credibility as Mistaken so let’s call it a draw.

4/15/2013 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Fascinating! said...

Fascinating, Geoff! You know very well that police/fire cannot comment independently, yet you refuse to acknowledge a comment that doesn't comport with your warped world view. Who did you get YOUR information from? Why not post their name?

4/15/2013 07:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Your Blog's A Circus said...

Geoff West writes: "He blew himself to smithereens!"

Was the TMZ headline screech really necessary? Perhaps he has family. Most likely he was mentally ill. Did you consider either before wallowing in sensationalism over the alleged condition of his body?

What is up with you?

4/15/2013 07:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Eastside Ann said...

When I was a young girl in elementary school the more I liked a boy, the meaner I would be. Twisted I know but it may explain why this blog's owner is so mean to our mayor.

I will give the benefit of doubt to the Mayor unless proven otherwise.

4/15/2013 07:36:00 PM  
Anonymous My House is still shaking said...

Is Fitzy or Howie an official? That would explain that...

4/15/2013 08:22:00 PM  
Anonymous James Rivera said...

"Fascinaring," EXACTLY. Thank you. And for the record, being a civilian, I just use my name, not a made-up name, unlike many here. Oh well.

4/15/2013 08:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Brad and Janet said...

Who you gonna believe- Geoff West or some Riggy sycophant? We'll go with West.

4/15/2013 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Brad and Janet,
Thanks - me, too! ;-)

My sources are reliable and knowledgable. The fact that the Mayor was inside the tape is not in dispute - he's very visible on local television coverage - no surprise there.

4/15/2013 09:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Lets be proactive, not reactive said...

i agree with Joe entirely!

The mentally ill seem to fall through the cracks too often. I dont think officers are properly trained to recognize a schizophrenic.

My family has had experience with trying to call a 5150 in on a relative who had obviously lost it (increasingly bizarre, dangerous behaviors which frightened everybody around him-- people locked the doors to their own bedrooms because they were afraid of him) and was resisting being taken in for evaluation.
The police claimed he wasnt a 5150 case (he was a danger to himself with a history of violent outbursts). With no help from the police and a LONG ordeal we got him to see a someone, and he was schizophrenia.
I always wonder, what if we couldnt convince him to see somebody, would the cops have been liable for ignoring our 5150 request had he harmed himself/others?

Its good to know more werent harmed, but scary to think if instead it played out with him being outside with that pipe bomb.

I think the problem of ignoring the mentally ill until they commit violent crimes is a bigger problem in this society than gun control is. If we didnt force a hand at a diagnosis, he could have easily bought a gun.

4/16/2013 01:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Camera Time For Jim said...

I don't see the Mayor showing up to any other fire or police call in the City that doesn't have news cameras or reporters there.

4/16/2013 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Anonymous" Your Blog's A Circus",
Sorry for the delay in posting your very kind comment... sometimes Blogger burps and doesn't present them to me quickly.

To answer one of your questions, Yes - I thought the language was perfectly appropriate, since that's exactly what he did - blew himself to bits!

If you don't like what you read here I invite you to stop reading.

4/16/2013 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Appropriate said...

World English Dictionary

smithereens (ˌsmɪðəˈriːnz) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

— pl n
little shattered pieces or fragments

Sounds like Mr. West was factually reporting. He needs to get up to Jimbo speed by ranting on John and Ken, or going into a long shrill rap in a Richard Simmons voice at council.

4/16/2013 02:04:00 PM  
Anonymous The Headless Horseman said...

He blew himself up so good that he literally blew his head off. Seems like Geoff got it right.

4/16/2013 02:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

A 5150 hold requires probable cause the same way a criminal arrest does. Simply calling the police because you believe someone is a danger to them self, or others, or is gravely disabled is insufficient. Those claims must be corroborated by proof, usually in the form of words or actions by the alleged 5150. The cops hands are tied if the person does not show by words or actions that they fit the criteria, regardless of what they may have told someone else. A person, under present California law, can be clearly mentally Ill and still not fit the 5150 criteria of being a danger to themselves or others, or gravely disabled.

The comparison is the same as claiming someone committed a crime. The accusation must be corroborated by other witness statements, an admission from the suspect or physical evidence. Beware the unintended consequences of making it easier to involuntarily commit someone under 5150.

4/16/2013 04:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor said...

Wyatt Earp is right. You can't maximize both freedom and security; you have to strike a balance between them.

It's scarier to me to think that someone could have me involuntarily committed on their say-so alone than to know there are unidentified, violent crazy people on the streets. Others might feel differently. That's why we try to reach compromise and consensus.

4/16/2013 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

No chance of that happening to you, Eleanor - unless you let that darn cell phone keep ringing! ;-)

4/16/2013 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Eleanor said...

"Wyatt Earp is right. You can't maximize both freedom and security; you have to strike a balance between them.
It's scarier to me to think that someone could have me involuntarily committed on their say-so alone than to know there are unidentified, violent crazy people on the streets. Others might feel differently. That's why we try to reach compromise and consensus."

Agree completely. The mental health system in this country started unraveling in the 80s. We need new strategies to treat these people and hopefully keep them from acting out violently BEFORE they become law enforcement's problem.

I don't have the stats, but it seems like general violence is way up since the 1960s. It'd be interesting to know how much of that is mental illness vs. ordinary criminal behavior.

4/17/2013 07:14:00 AM  

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