A man was arrested on a slew of charges, including burglary, vandalism and attempted arson of the Republican Party of Humboldt headquarters, California is back out on the street after spending only a day in jail before posting bail.
On Saturday, Feb. 8, at around 4:53 a.m., officers with the Eureka Police Department responded to the Republican Party office on 5th Street for the report of a man smashing the windows. The witness gave a description of the suspect and said he was last seen riding a bicycle toward the bay.
When officers quickly arrived on the scene, they saw the man on the Boardwalk. They said the suspect fled from them on the bike, but after a short pursuit, police detained him. According to the EPD, the suspect was found to be in possession of a stolen “Trump” flag. His bicycle had a “Bernie” political sticker prominently displayed, police said.
The man, later identified as 43-year-old Michael Valls of Eureka was riding his bike near the foot of D Street. Police said Valls tried to flee from officers but was eventually taken into custody after a brief struggle. He was found to be in possession of items linking him to the vandalism on 5th Street, police said.
Upon investigation, police said they discovered that three large front plate glass windows had been shattered with what appeared to be multiple blows or thrown rocks.
Police also confirmed that the “Trump” political flag had been stolen from inside one of the shattered windows, which matched the flag found in Valls’ possession.
Inside the building, as if it had been thrown through one of the shattered windows, was a liquid chemical, according to police. Humboldt Bay Fire responded and determined the liquid was flammable, the EPD said. Samples of the liquid were collected, photographs of the scene taken, and possible sources for video surveillance of the incident were identified.
The reporting party was contacted and through an in-field-show-up and she identified Valls as the suspect she saw breaking the windows of the GOP building.
Valls was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for attempted arson, burglary, felony vandalism, resisting arrest and providing a false name.
According to the jail on Saturday, Valls was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail. North Coast News contacted the jail again on Monday, who said Valls bailed out of jail Sunday.
Surveillance video of the suspect shows him the throwing of rocks into windows:
Surveillance video of the suspect shows him pouring a liquid substance into the building:
This is one of several times the Humboldt GOP headquarters in Eureka has been targeted by suspected vandals.
See previous vandalism from August of 2018:
See previous vandalism from April and May of 2019:
If you enjoy the hard work we put in here at Milne News, a donation of any amount will help us stay online and continue the great work we do. Any donation is greatly appreciated:
Thank you for your support.
Or Via Stripe: any kind of credit or debit card: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, and Diners Club. (NO SIGN UP REQUIRED)
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox for free every day by signing up below.