If you live near downtown Walnut Creek, particularly in the Creekside Drive neighborhood, or if you have a child or teen who attends schools in or near downtown Walnut Creek, you were probably affected by two dramatic events in Walnut Creek Monday.
There was the robbery of the Wells Fargo in the Rossmoor shopping center around 11 that morning. Around the same time, police headed out to Creekside Drive, just south of downtown and Las Lomas High School, to deal with a guy "acting strangely."
Police learned from a woman, who had just escaped her apartment in the 1400 block of Creekside Drive, that her boyfriend was possibly suicidal and had access to firearms.
Not a good combination. The SWAT team moved in, and there was a stand-off before officers entered the apartment and found that the guy had already taken off. Because of the SWAT operatons, several local schools went into lockdown: Las Lomas High, Murwood and Parkmead elementaries and the private K-8 Dorris-Eaton.
Well, what do you know? The guy who started the whole SWAT operation Monday was arrested the following day. Why?
Ding-Dong-Doodlehead returned to the scene of his crime--or whatever--the very next day, Tuesday, and broke into his girlfriends's apartment--the scene of the previous day's standoff.
A neighbor reported hearing screams, police responded, and found the guy walking along Creekside Drive. Lt. Tim Barrett identified the man as Richard Johnson, who was arrested on a probation violation stemming from the incident and transported to County Jail.
I'm sorry if I sound like I'm making light of the situaton his girlfriend was in. I don't mean it that way. She's a victim, and her S.O. was reportedly treating her badly enough to warrant a police response. I'm sure she's hurting a lot, and has a lot to deal with. I'm sorry about that.
Meanwhile, there is her S.O., Richard Johnson, who sparks a SWAT response, inconvenience and worry at several schools, and plenty of news coverage.
And what does he do?
Well, he could have laid low. High-tailed it out of state or out of the country? Instead, the very next day he returns to the scene of his new infamy and reportedly causes more trouble.
And, he gets himself caught and arrested.
I, of course, am happy that this man was nabbed. I also hope that, one way or another, some time behind bars will force him to get treatment for his apparent anger issues, suicidal ideation, or whatever else is going on with him, and that he will have to attone for the hurt he has caused.
The recklessness of his actions--returning the next day to the scene of his crimes--also make me think 1) He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer an/or 2) he's not playing with a full deck.
Any of those other cliche's I could throw in?
A Walnut Creek police offer tells me that stupid criminals can make the cops' job a lot easier. At the same time, the police also take pride in catching the not-so-stupid criminals.
It's hard to know what's more dangerous: the Stupid Criminal or the Smart One. Then there also is the Desperate, Scared, Reckless One, like the 20-year-old Orinda man who, on Wednesday, ran a stop sign in Lafayette and led police from several agencies on a high speed chase on I-680, Highway 24 and around busy downtown and quiet residential streets of Walnut Creek, Lafayette, and Orinda.
All, in their ways, can do a lot of damage.