If you can say one thing about Tony Diep it is this: the 47-year-old transient really had a bug up his ass over the Santa Ana police officer who provided security at the city's central library downtown.
On the morning of July 30, 2008, feces were found spread on the outside wall of the library on Civic Center Drive--mere steps from SAPD headquarters--and a letter was found in the book-drop box stating the facility would be vandalized 50 times worse if the patrolling cop was not removed.
The message was addressed to those in charge of the library and the Santa Ana Police Department. Those officials had nine months to contemplate what might be 50 times worse than having shit smeared on a building before the next letter came.
Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters opened an envelope on April 15, 2009, that contained a letter now threatening to kill the officer stationed at the library. The writer mentioned he had purchased and gun and bullets and provided detailed knowledge of the cop's work shift.
Finally, on Feb. 17, 2010, Walters received a letter threatening to kill any police officer the writer saw between 4 and 8 a.m. in the Santa Ana Civic Center Plaza. It would be easy to do, claimed the writer, who specifically mentioned two officers by name.
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The letters were signed with a Hispanic-sounding name, but the DNA left on them produced a hit with someone in the Orange County Crime Lab database: Tony Diep. He was subsequently arrested, tried and, today, Diep was sentenced to two years in state prison.
According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, Diep pleaded guilty to one felony count of sending a threatening extortion letter, two felony counts of resisting and deterring an executive officer, one felony count of criminal threats, and one misdemeanor count of criminal threats.
As part of a plea deal, a felony count of criminal threats was reduced to a misdemeanor, which allowed Diep to plead guilty to one strike instead of two.
The warden of the prison Diep is headed to would be wise to stock up on Comet cleanser should you-know-who, perceiving a guard has wronged him, get all smeary again.