Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
June 24, 2009
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR THREATENING TO DETONATE NON-EXISTENT EXPLOSIVE DEVICE
IN NEWPORT BEACH BANK
NEWPORT BEACH – A man will be arraigned today on charges of threatening to detonate a non-existent explosive device, which he claimed was concealed in a backpack, inside a Newport Beach bank. Richard Ronnie Spain, 55, Costa Mesa, is charged with one felony count of criminal threats with a prior conviction for criminal threats in 1996. If convicted, Spain faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison. The defendant is being held on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned today, Wednesday, June 24, 2009, at 1:30 p.m. in Department H-2, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
At approximately 12:05 p.m. on June 22, 2009, Spain is accused of walking into a Bank of America at 1016 Irvine Avenue in Newport Beach carrying a blue backpack. After being greeted inside by the bank manager, Spain is accused of telling her to freeze, using his fist and index finger to imitate a gun, and yelling that he was going to “blow it up” while pointing at the backpack.
The manager, who was standing near the defendant behind a desk, told Spain that he should leave the bank. Spain is accused of saying that he would leave, and then throwing the backpack toward the manager and yelling “boom!” as it fell to the ground. Spain is accused of then walking out of the bank.
The manager evacuated the bank and the Newport Beach Police Department responded to the scene. Spain was arrested walking down Irvine Avenue a short distance from the bank. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation bomb squads, along with the Newport Beach Fire Department, arrived at the scene and determined that the backpack did not contain explosives. The contents of the backpack included women’s lingerie, duct tape, zip ties, several sexual bondage items, and other miscellaneous objects.