King County prosecutors have charged a homeless man who made bomb threats at a Kirkland 76 gas station earlier this month.
Mark Van-Noy Nelson, 21, is being held on $100,000 bail for one count of making a threat to bomb or injure property and another count of unlawful imprisonment.
According to charging documents, Nelson walked into the gas station, 11848 NE 95th St., and waited a couple of minutes before locking the store door and telling a single 60-year-old woman he needed to make a bomb threat. She gave him the store phone and the suspect called 911.
It was then that he told the 911 dispatcher he had a bomb on his body and had placed a bomb at the Church of Scientology at 300 W. Harrison St. in Seattle.
He then told the woman in the store he had several bombs in his pants along his waist and thighs.
“[The woman] was very shaken as she explained to police detectives that she had actually taken a sharp meat thermometer and placed it in her pocket, thinking she could stab the suspect if she got the chance,” court records state. “[The woman] was highly distraught as she reported, thinking ‘Can I do this? Can I do this’?”
Police spoke to Nelson for some time before he demanded the woman grab his hand and walk out with him.
The two exited the gas station store and the woman ran to the right near officers, as instructed, while the suspect lay on the ground as he was arrested. It was then police discovered he had no bombs, nor were there bombs at the church in Seattle either.
In an interview with Nelson, he told a detective he woke up that day wanting to die and figured he would kill himself by committing suicide by cop.
“He stated he could not actually kill himself, but desperately wanted to die,” charging documents state. “Nelson spoke about his increasing paranoia and how the Church of Scientology has been following and harassing him for the past several months.”
Nelson also told police he never wanted to hurt anyone but was “desperate to have the church and others feel the fear and paranoia that he lives with every day.”
Court documents state Nelson said he has mental health illnesses and self-medicates with methamphetamine.
His threat, however, caused multiple buildings to be evacuated, hostage negotiations, bomb squad searches and a major police response from Kirkland and Seattle Police Departments.