Workers are raising safety concerns at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office after a man was arrested while trying to get into the building with a gun.
The incident comes as sources told NBC Bay Area that employees are already anxious, concerned and frustrated with Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price’s decision to keep her personal office in a private building that lacks traditional security measures like metal detectors.
61-year-old Javier Inocencio is the man at the heart of the new security scare at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Consumer Justice Bureau.
Court records obtained by NBC Bay Area Thursday alleged that Inocencio told DA investigators on Monday that he was going to use a gun to kill himself after the DA’s office declined to pursue a complaint.
Injury attorney William Berg explained that Inocencio is a former client of his and added the man has been harassing his office for months, demanding a larger payout from a case that’s been closed for a year.
“He started contacting our office and said that he deserved more money and he demanded more money and his demands, which started out as irrational,” Berg said.
Prosecutors said on Tuesday, Inocencio went to the sixth floor of the building, where dozens of prosecutors work, including Price and he demanded to speak to an inspector.
That’s when someone in the office recognized him and immediately searched him. They later found out Inocencio, a convicted felon was carrying a loaded gun, he had to be wrestled to the ground and disarmed.
The incident has rattled both the attorney who used to represent Inocencio and those who work in the DA’s office.
Berg said after eight weeks of threats and social media posts, he hired security and took out a restraining order against Inocencio last month.
“Javier never stops,” he said. “So, we tried to reason with him, that did not work. The Alameda Police Department contacted him, that did not stop him.”
On Thursday, Inocencio appeared in court. His attorney argued Inocencio never claimed to hurt himself or others and believes a language barrier was preventing him from being clearly understood when he initially talked to DA investigators.
Inocencio pleaded not guilty to firearm charges and is being held on $60,000 bail.
The DA’s office argued Inocencio posed a clear threat to attorneys in their office. It’s a risk Berg believes could become even more dangerous if not addressed.
Sources told NBC Bay Area the incident is raising questions about Price’s decision to move her office to a private building rather than a county facility, where people would be required to pass through metal detectors.
NBC Bay Area reached out to Price’s office concerning the incident on Thursday, but declined to comment.
Source: NBC Bay Area