STOCKTON -- Anthony Romero and his family were surprised someone vandalized a church’s efforts to raise money for its kids. The fireworks booth in Stockton was smashed on the Fourth of July -- a day where nonprofits like Christian Life Center expect to make 60 percent of their sales.
But it didn’t take long for the group to get a booth back up and running on Trinity Parkway.
"[We] wanted to make sure that we’re over here to help them in their time of need,” said Romero, a Stockton resident.
Pastor Tim Ramonett told FOX40 a man in a white BMW is suspected of destroying the fireworks booth. The driver left some key pieces of evidence behind.
"The crazy thing is, this morning we found car parts of his vehicle on the dirt here when he was ramming it,” Ramonett said.
He said his volunteers saw the same man threatening the group.
"He came by yesterday, pointed his finger at us and just really said a few things having some hand gestures as kind of a gun," he said.
And it wasn’t an isolated threat.
"This morning he came by again while we’re actually rebuilding — while the company was rebuilding — and he put a mask on and spun out,” Ramonett said.
The Stockton Police Department told FOX40 they have a suspect in custody but have not determined if he is the person responsible for taking down this fireworks booth They also found guns that were legally locked up in his car. His mental health is under evaluation.
As for sales, the pastor said they seemed steady. For a booth that was knocked down but not out.
"I don’t know if it was personal or not. I’m not taking it personal(ly),” he said.
The Stockton Police Department said they are not considering this incident a hate crime.