A 36-year-old Costa Mesa man is facing several charges and being held without bail after allegedly yelling "white power" at bystanders and trying to stab an African American man he did not know in front of a billiards hall.
This happened around 5 p.m. Thursday in front of Games Plus Billiards (a past Weekly Best Of winner) at 518 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa. Cops had received a call about a man wielding a knife and threatening to stab people in front of the business, says Costa Mesa Police Lt. Greg Scott, who identified the suspect as Claude D. Wyman. (I'm guess he's not related to the Wyman of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.)
Scott also ticked off three victims: two African American men and a Latino man whose names, ages and cities of residence were not disclosed.
"Officers learned that minutes earlier, Wyman had forced a near violent confrontation with several bystanders whom Wyman did not personally know," Scott said. "According to witnesses, without provocation, Wyman had purposely shoved his chest against the chest of an African American male adult who happened to be standing in front of the billiards hall. Wyman next reportedly called the male a racial slur and threatened to kill him."
Wyman is alleged to have next turned his attention to two other men in the parking lot, neither of whom knew the first African American male. Wyman allegedly brandished the knife toward the two "in a threatening manner, before abruptly turning his attention back toward the first male," said Scott, adding the knifeman "made several stabbing motions" at the African American fellow, who picked up a small cocktail table to use as a shield from the attack.
Shortly after that, Wyman got on a bicycle and rode off westbound on 19th Street, where he was confronted by police officers. He is accused of refusing to comply with commands and had to be held at gunpoint before cops could safely handcuff him, Scott said.
A search of the suspect produced a large folding knife in the locked open position inside a front pants pocket, according to Scott. Wyman was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, making a terrorist threat, hate crimes, violating parole and a gang enhancement.
Scott says a mugshot of Wyman is not being released at this time as the investigation continues. Anyone with information is asked to call the Costa Mesa Police Investigations Bureau at 714.754.5637.