SAN FRANCISCO - New details have emerged regarding the man accused of throwing bombs at San Francisco police as he evaded arrest on Sunday.
Court records and an interview with an ex-girlfriend have brought to light a troubling past that includes a number of previous arrests and convictions for explosives charges, and warnings about how dangerous Daniel Garcia, 42 of Concord, could be.
Garcia is accused of allegedly demanding money from a parishioner at Saint Peter and Paul Church in North Beach, and then reportedly punching the victim until he was unconscious.
When police arrived at the church, Garcia allegedly fled, leading police on a multi-city chase while throwing pipe bombs from his vehicle. The chase eventually ended in Martinez where law enforcement officers arrested Garcia.
He is now in custody, awaiting formal charges for a multitude of felonies including attempted murder, unlawful possession of an explosive device, aggravated assault and others.
"I've always thought he could kill someone, and possibly me," an ex-girlfriend who wish to remain anonymous told KTVU.
She doesn't want to use her name or show her face because she says after dating Garcia on and off for seven years that she's worried he may slip through the cracks yet again.
"I firmly believe that we have a clear pattern of someone who is extremely dangerous," she said
Garcia has serious legal charges dating back over a decade.
In 2011, he was convicted for placing a bomb underneath an SUV which was parked next to an apartment building on Phoenix Drive in Fairfield. The bomb detonated, causing a fireball to send shrapnel flying into a nearby car and the apartment building.
In January 2012, Garcia was found guilty of malicious use of explosives, possession of a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence and two counts of possession of unregistered destructive devices, the U.S. Attorneys' Office said.
Investigators on that case managed to piece together some parts of the bomb, and they later linked the device back to Garcia. Police determined that the SUV targeted in the explosion was owned by Garcia's former tenant. The tenant and Garcia had a dispute over a cable box and trash left inside the apartment that Garcia managed.
The owner of the car was able to put out the flames before police arrived, authorities said. The neighborhood was forced to evacuate as law enforcement, with the support of the Travis Air Force Base Explosives Team, checked for more explosives.
When law enforcement officers searched Garcia's house, they found a second bomb which had to be disabled. Garcia was located days later and arrested after a police stand-off.
Garcia was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison for the crime. However, he was released in 2019 after challenging the conviction.
Garcia's ex-girlfriend says he returned to work as an electrician in San Francisco and moved to her hometown in the East Bay.
Se says Garcia created chaos wherever he went.
"Things got very violent, he broke my ankle, he broke my nose. He tied me up one night and left me on the floor," she said.
The ex-girlfriend says she was finally able to get a restraining order against Garcia, who she warns can be as charming as he is violent.
She's speaking out now for herself and for the other women Garcia is accused of abusing.
"I would talk about how I was worried, and I had fear for my life still, people told me not to be worried and that it was silly. It's so important that people hear when someone says 'I'm afraid,'" she said.
Garcia's ex-girlfriend learned of Sunday's incident on social media and when the press reached out to her family.
She hopes this time the justice system gets it right.
"I really think that in this situation he should never get out to see the light of day ever again," she said.
The San Francisco Police Department says Garcia could be back in court as early as Wednesday.