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Man's bizzare outfit at mall leads to arrest

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A man's bizarre get-up at Discover Mills Mall led to his arrest this week. Police say the outfit gave the man the appearance of a human bomb and alarmed employees, while the suspect countered it was merely his personal style.

Employees at Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth called police the evening of Sept. 13 when Daniel Tudela, 32, of Stone Mountain, walked in wearing a trench coat with a network of wires running from his arms to his chest. Asked about his strange attire, Tudela only "mumbled something" and strolled into the mall, according to a police report.

Gwinnett police canvassed the mall and found Tudela outside a movie theater. When asked about his garb, he "advised it was 'his style,'" an officer wrote.

Tudela explained that the MP3 players, iPod, ear phones, cell phone, and security remote he was carrying were wired together and attached to a USB-type drive on his chest, which he told police was a power source, the report states.

A police sergeant told Tudela he was being questioned because he had alarmed mall patrons. Police photographed him and later consulted with Homeland Security about the incident, the report states.

"The suspect advised he understood," the officer wrote.

Four days later, police swore out warrants for Tudela's arrest.

Tudela "did construct and possess a replica of a destructive device which would (have) caused another to believe that such (a) hoax device was a destructive device," his arrest warrant reads.

Tudela was booked at the Gwinnett County Jail on Tuesday and released on $5,700 bond the following day. He's charged with a misdemeanor count of unlawful manufacturing of a destructive device.

Attempts to reach Tudela for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.

According to Georgia code, it's unlawful to have a hoax device or replica of a destructive device or detonator with the intent to make another person believe it is real.

A conviction is punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine up to $10,000, the law states.

Comments

CountrySocrates 1 year, 6 months ago

Really, people. You should be worried about the ones who don't look like terrorists. An attacker has to fit in. Now some poor guy has to spend thousands in legal fees just because he has a frequent shopper card from Radio Shack.

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

"He's charged with a misdemeanor count of unlawful manufacturing of a destructive device." He will never get convicted of anything because as the law states above, he has to have made a "destructive" device, which this will prove not to be. All this will be for nothing. At the same time, Obama isn't concerned about protecting us from real terrorists. Just look at all that has been done against us over the past 3 years, including in the Middle East. This administration's first remarks are it wasn't terrorists, just so he doesn't look bad this close to elections.

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NewsReader 1 year, 6 months ago

This gentleman didn't fit the profile which is why he got arrested. Had he fit the profile, he would have been given a free pass because we can't have any profiling.

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Don_Coyote 1 year, 6 months ago

"According to Georgia code, it's unlawful to have a hoax device or replica of a destructive device or detonator with the intent to make another person believe it is real."

I see this becoming an ACLU case but this layman would have to consider this the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater. It is hard to believe that this person did not dress in this manner to cause fear and intimidation.

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CountrySocrates 1 year, 6 months ago

As kevin said, intent is virtually impossible to prove. Unless this guy has a online post saying "Hey everybody, my geeky phone and mp3 player setup is going to make everyone think I have a bomb!", this is just another example of gubberment waste on security theater.

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