Valley Center man pleads not guilty to making false bomb report

Frits Versteegh made first court appearance

An SDG&E truck passing by the alleged scene of the crime.
  • An SDG&E truck passing by the alleged scene of the crime.
  • Image by Bob Weatherston

An elderly Valley Center man accused of threatening to bomb SDG&E trucks was briefly in court this morning, December 12.

Frits Versteegh in court.

Frits Versteegh in court.

Frits Versteegh, 75, pleaded not guilty to making a false bomb report, charged as a felony. This crime, penal code section 148.1 (a), is written so that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, with the maximum penalty not to exceed one year in jail.

Versteegh was taken into custody late on December 4, after he reportedly sent an email to a local news station’s website, in which he threatened to bomb San Diego Gas & Electric trucks.

The elderly Valley Center man was reportedly upset with utility company workers for ruining the berm on the dirt road which leads to his home, near the intersection of Spearhead Trail and Circle R Drive; the degraded edge apparently allowed recent rains to severely erode the entryway to his home.

Bomb and arson investigators were unable to find any explosive device after two hours of searching, according to Sheriff’s sergeant Alan Noble.

Judge Martin Staven told Versteegh he had to give up any firearms.

Judge Martin Staven told Versteegh he had to give up any firearms.

Versteegh posted bond immediately after his arrest and is currently at liberty. Today he pleaded notguilty through public defender Craig Poynter.

This morning, judge Martin Staven ordered Versteegh to surrender any firearms he might possess, at the request of prosecutor Cal Logan.

Frits Versteegh is next due in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse on January 5, 2015.

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If he is elderly so is the judge. We seem to not really know what elderly is but we use it freely to describe someone of a certain age. I know people in their 50's who will never see 75 and I know people who are still working at age 90. If the conservatives get their way we will all have to work until we die as there will be no pensions or social security.

I hope that when I'm his age I don't do something as dumb as he did. What was he thinking?

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