Man in custody after ominous words to Garden Grove store clerk prompt bomb-squad response

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (KABC) -- A man is in custody after his ominous words to a 7-Eleven clerk in Garden Grove prompted a response from the bomb squad.

Police say the man walked into the store at Euclid Street and Trask Avenue and asked the clerk "Are there cameras? I want them to catch what happens," according to police.

He then walked away.

The clerk called 911. The man was seen near a Mustang in the parking lot. Police responded and found a suspicious device in the car.

The man was also seen walking down the street and dropping another object near Euclid and Century Boulevard.
Police say the man also borrowed a cellphone from someone and called 911 to report a car fire and fled the scene.

There was no car fire.

Police responded with a bomb robot to examine the object in the car and blocked off nearby streets.

Police later said the man was in custody. He was found hiding in a backyard in the 11000 block of Crosby Avenue. Police say the suspect appears to be under the influence of drugs.

Police later identified the suspect as Jonny Knowles, 56, with a last known address of Garden Grove.

Police say the object dropped on the street contained a flammable liquid. The object in the car was liquid in a container with a battery attached. The bomb squad detonated the device inside the car.

The bomb squad later determined that neither object was an explosive device.

"This time and era we don't know what's real and what's not," said Lt. Carl Whitney. "So we have to take all the precautionary measures and make sure the public's safe."

No injuries were reported. The suspect was arrested for reporting a false emergency and he may face additional charges.
Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.