Saturday, July 20, 2024

Lakeport Man Accused of Positioning an Improvised Explosive Outside a Church During Sunday Service

The “destructive device” was found outside Saint John’s Episcopal Church yesterday morning [Photo provided by the Lakeport Police Department]

As parishioners exited Lakeport’s Saint John’s Episcopal Church yesterday morning–Sunday, June 26, 2022– law enforcement learned of a “destructive device” located near their house of worship.  The Lakeport Police would call for a large area of the small town to be evacuated.

A bomb squad from the Napa County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and technicians successfully dismantled the “destructive device”. Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rasmussen said the device included an accelerant, a power source, and some sort of shrapnel. At this point, it is unclear whether the device had remote detonation capabilities. 

Just hours later, law enforcement arrested a 27-year-old Lakeport man, Kayden Daniel Collins, who is suspected of placing the improvised explosive.

At this point, Chief Rasmussen told us the suspect’s motive is unknown. Investigators do not know whether the church was the intended target or whether an individual parishioner was. There is no known connection between Collins and Saint John’s Episcopal Church 

When asked how the Lakeport Police had come to suspect Collins’s involvement in the incident, Chief Rasmussen told us he could not provide that information due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

A Lakeport police officer blocks off a road during yesterday’s evacuation order [Photograph provided by Russell Bishop]

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade case, Chief Rasmussen told us Catholic churches around the United States have experienced many types of threats. There is no indication of yesterday’s incident at St. John’s being a politically motivated attack, but Chief Rasmussen said his investigators will be “following all leads and possibilities.”

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Multiple news outlets have reported on a measurable rise in attacks and threats against churches, pregnancy centers, and anti-abortion offices around the United States since the draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion on Roe v. Wade was leaked. The Federal Bureau of Investigation told the Washington Examiner they are investigating “a series of attacks” across the United States without identifying any specific groups suspected of the attacks.

Kayden Collins was recently arrested for his suspected involvement with a currency counterfeiting operation. On the morning of June 7, 2022, a search warrant was served on the 1200 block of North Forbes Street searching for evidence of an ongoing counterfeiting operation.

Counterfeit current confiscated from a Lakeport residence during the warrant search that netted Collins arrest in early June [Photograph from the Lakeport Police Department]

 A press release from the Lakeport Police Department indicates “numerous items of evidence” were located regarding the counterfeit operation. Two subjects were arrested: Alejandro Javier Lopez and Kayden Daniel Collins, the man thought to be involved with yesterday’s “destructive device” outside St. Joseph’s.

Collins’s rap sheet is extensive with arrests in Riverside, Mendocino, and Lake Counties. Past charges range from intoxicated in public, vandalism, burglary, trespassing, and shoplifting, all relatively minor infractions compared to his arrests for the destructive device and counterfeiting.

Remember, the charges that Collins faces have not been proven in a court of law. In accordance with the legal principle of the presumption of innocence, any individual should be presumed innocent until proven guilty

In late April, Lakeport law enforcement evacuated the town’s Grocery Outlet after an “explosive type device” was found in the parking lot. When asked whether the “destructive device” was related to the Grocery Outlet incident, Chief Rasmussen said, “I don’t have any belief there is a connection.”

If anyone in the community has information about the suspect or the circumstances, Chief Rasmussen asks they contact the Lakeport Police Department at (707) 263-5491.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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