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Man Arrested in Bombing of Republican Headquarters

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A Palm Desert, California, man has been arrested and charged with arson in the May 31 firebombing of the East Valley Republican Women Federated office in La Quinta.

Carlos Espriu was arrested Wednesday by members of the Riverside County Gang Impact Team and is being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside in lieu of a $1 million bail, the Office of the District Attorney of Riverside County said in a news release.

The 23-year-old was charged with “one count of arson of a structure during a state of emergency with an enhancement of using a device designed to accelerate a fire or delay ignition” and “one count of igniting a destructive device with the intent to destroy property.”

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The charges come from an incident on May 31 in which Espriu allegedly wore a mask and used a metal baseball bat to break windows at the WVRWF headquarters, KESQ-TV reported.

He then allegedly “lighted an improvised incendiary device constructed of three bottles that he tossed through the windows before fleeing.”

According to the criminal complaint, he returned to the building and broke more windows and retrieved his Molotov cocktail.

He brought it back without a mask and reportedly threw it inside the building, sparking a fire.

Cal Fire firefighters extinguished the fire inside the building and investigators determined the three glass bottles caused it, according to the news release.

There was reportedly limited damage to the EVRWF headquarters and no one was injured.

“The terrorizing goes on,” a GoFundMe to raise money for security for the headquarters read.

“Their headquarters have experienced increased hostility, including: multiple harassing phone calls daily, eggs thrown at the windows, and drive by shouting accompanied by obscene gestures.”

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Several people came forward with information and helped law enforcement officials identify Espriu as the arson suspect, according to KESQ.

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Investigators also uncovered a Twitter account they believe belongs to Espriu where he tweeted, “I wanna go burn s— n get hit with tear gas” three days before the firebombing.

After investigators served a search warrant, they also recovered audio recordings in which Espriu is heard telling someone that he shaved his facial hair after seeing the surveillance video from the night of the attack on local news.

If he is convicted, Espriu would face a mandatory federal prison sentence of five to 20 years.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Birthplace
Tucson, Arizona
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated with Honors
Education
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Location
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith




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