On February 2, 2017, at about 6 p.m. in the evening, a pyrotechnic device was detonated inside the Cheesecake Factory located at 2 West Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, California. Luckily, the improvised explosive device (IED) didn’t seriously injure anyone on the premises; customers were quick to scramble out of the way when the device went off.
Pasadena Police Officers and the Pasadena Fire Department arrived on the scene and handled the evacuation procedures, ensuring that the building was clear. When they located the IED, they contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who dispatched the County Bomb Squad. The team of EOD professionals ensured that the location was safe before crime scene collection of evidence proceeded.
Locating the Suspect in the Cheesecake Factory Bombing
Witnesses told police that the suspect was a six-foot tall male with a thin build and a heavy beard. The person was described as wearing black clothing and a black beanie. After the attack, detectives with the Pasadena Police Department have been working tirelessly with local FBI agents. The two agencies have been aggressively pursuing leads, including contacting other businesses along Colorado Boulevard, asking for any security footage they had.
As a result, agents were able to recover the above video which they believe shows the suspect entering a nearby supermarket shortly after the explosion occurred. Even though the unidentified man is only wearing a white t-shirt, he is carrying dark clothing which fits the witness descriptions. The surveillance video clearly shows the suspect discarding the identifying clothing into a trash bin before he leaves the store.
During a press conference on March 24, 2017, the ADC for the FBI Los Angeles field office, Deirdre Fike, announced that because the departments had exhausted all current leads, the FBI was offering a substantial reward for information leading to the identification of the man or group responsible for the attack.
How You Can Help
The FBI and the Pasadena Police Department released the surveillance video in hopes that someone in the area knows the unidentified man or can id the suspect. In light of that, they have combined to offer a $20,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest of the person or group responsible for the attack. A dedicated tip line was established by the FBI at 1-800- CALL FBI (1-800-225-5324). All information provided will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. The line is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Alternately, tips can be left with the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241.
The Pasadena Police Department and the FBI have reminded the public that the suspect is considered armed and dangerous. If anyone sees the suspect, they should not attempt to detain or contact him but instead, contact the FBI or the Pasadena Police at the above phone numbers.
It is unknown at this time what the motivation was behind the attack. The suspect was identified as being of Hispanic or Middle Eastern descent, but authorities do not currently believe that this is a terror attack.
The last time that Pasadena was the subject of a bombing attack was 10 years ago in 2006, when Steven James Murphy installed a gasoline bomb IED at a condominium development on behalf of the Earth Liberation Front, or E.L.F. The device was placed in an incomplete structure at the Visa Del Arroyo Bungalows, which was at the time, under construction in the shadow of the Colorado bridge. The device failed to detonate due to a faulty delayed-ignition timer. According to the Pasadena Fire Department, the device contained enough gasoline to destroy the entire development and damage nearby structures.
This bombing went unsolved for three years until Murphy’s DNA was matched with DNA found on the IED. Murphy was subsequently arrested in Texas and plead guilty in 2010 to one count of conspiracy to commit arson. He was sentenced to five years in federal prison as part of a plea bargain with federal prosecutors.
[Featured Image via FBI]