Oakland’s Raul Murillo Diaz has been arrested and charged with arson after several attempts to destroy Google’s self-driving cars.
The man was spotted on June 30 around the company’s HQ and taken into custody by police after reports suspected he was involved in three other attempts of destroying Google’s self-driving cars, one of which succeeded.
The first attempt, on May 19, involved Molotov cocktails. Fortunately, they bounced off the Google Street View vehicle and ended up setting the nearby ground on fire. On June 4, Diaz was also alleged to have fired at the Google building, police reporting bullet holes in the building’s windows and frames.
The only time a Google car was actually set on fire was on June 10, when the Diaz allegedly used a squirt gun to set alight the vehicle. However, on June 30 the man was stopped by the police and found to be equipped with firearms and a non-working pipe bomb that could have easily been weaponized.
“Diaz told officers that his motivation behind the attacks was that he felt Google was watching him and that made him upset,” reads the police affidavit. “Diaz said that he kept journals of the times that he felt Google had been watching him.”
Although Diaz claimed the cylindrical device was not a bomb, but merely a device filled with cotton and bullets used for target practice, the police bomb squad believes that it only needed an accelerant or explosive powder to be turned into a functional explosive device.