UPDATE: See end of post for formal charges filed against Bernard Veldhuizen . . .
Frustrated by the economic forces piling against him, 46-year-old Bernard Veldhuizen of Tustin allegedly took repossessee-on-repo-man violence to a new level.
After barricading himself in his home for 11 hours, he took media spectacles to a new level.
Now, he just may become the next folk hero of those who are also mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore--like JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater.
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"Everything that could go wrong did. How much could you take?" a neighbor of Veldhuizen told the Orange County Register of the circumstances that led to the stand-off, which included eviction notices for him and others on Norwood Park Place in Tustin.
"He's a gentleman of a person," a friend told the paper. "Thank God nothing happened to him."
Already dealing with eviction and an arrest a few days ago, Veldhuizen peered outside his window in the 17700 block of Norwood around 2:45 a.m. this morning to see a repo man hitching his Lincoln LS to a tow truck.
We told you here about a Huntington Beach man who was recently accused of using a shotgun to shoo a repo man off his property. Veldhuizen's alleged reaction was to run outside, hop into a U-Haul truck and ram the tow truck, which was empty at the time.
He then ran back into his home and barricaded himself inside. After 11 hours that had him lobbing comments and belongings out his window while authorities gathered up family and friends to help talk him into surrendering, Veldhuizen walked out of the home backwards and allowed himself to be detained.
It could have ended much worse: a sheriff's spokesman says a SWAT team was finalizing a plan to storm into the house just as Veldhuizen gave up.
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He'd been arrested on July 29 on suspicion of making criminal threats and brandishing a weapon and was released on bail Aug. 4. He has pleaded not guilty.
"Lately nobody is his friend," a neighbor reportedly said. "He's not a bad guy, but he's unstable."
A homemade sign atop Veldhuizen's front porch reportedly reads, "If crazy people were not meant to be then why did God make so many?"
UPDATE: The Orange County Sheriff's Department confirms felony vandalism charges were filed against Veldhuizen, who is due in court today.