Mountain View Voice

News - March 12, 2010

Pentagon shooter had run-in with Mountain View cops

John Patrick Bedell, killed last week in Washington, D.C., was arrested in 2007

by Kelsey Mesher

John Patrick Bedell, the man killed after opening fire on two officers at the Pentagon last Thursday, had been arrested in Mountain View back in 2007 for violent and erratic behavior, police said.

According to police records, Bedell was arrested after an encounter with a father and his then-6-year-old son while they were playing soccer at Bubb field.

On Aug. 11, 2007, police received a phone call from a man reporting that Bedell had threatened him and tried to hit him with a stick.

"This man and his son were playing soccer at the school when John Patrick Bedell came up wearing no shirt and carrying a six-foot-long wooden stick," said police spokesperson Liz Wylie.

Wylie said Bedell asked if he could play soccer with the man and his son. When the father refused, Bedell got angry.

According to reports, the father directed the boy to leave for home on his bicycle. He then tried to confront Bedell about his behavior.

Then, Wylie said, "Bedell threatens to knock his teeth out, and starts swinging the stick around."

The father fled on his bicycle, she said, and Bedell attempted to chase him on foot. Police caught up to him up at the corner of Montalto Drive and Hans Avenue, and arrested him for brandishing a weapon, Wylie said. She added that he was never close enough to actually hit the father, so he was not charged with a more serious crime.

Bedell was booked in the county jail and pleaded no contest to fighting in public. He was given 20 days of work furlough.

"That's the only contact we've ever had with him, and we don't know why he was in Mountain View," Wylie said. At the time of the incident, Bedell was reportedly living in Hollister.

"There were times when he was completely coherent and he would answer our questions and do what we told him to do," Wylie said of his time in MVPD custody. "And in between there were times when he was speaking complete nonsense."

"It was nothing that the federal government was going to want to know about," she added. "It was the equivalent of talking about rainbows and flowers. It made absolutely no sense."

Bedell reportedly has been put on "psychological commitment holds" many times while in police custody over his life. Wylie said she could not give out information on whether Mountain View police placed him on such a hold in 2007.

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