Now charged in the Big Pine Canyon and South Lake vandalism and burglary cases, 47 year old San Francisco resident John Thomas Christiana is being held in the county jail on $500,000 bail. Meanwhile, a look at the internet reveals another side of the suspect.
First the criminal case- with as many as 19 vehicles vandalized at Big Pine Creek, Inyo Investigator Jeff Hollowell explained that the Sheriffs department is still taking reports from the Labor Day weekend incident. Windows were smashed out and gas lines were reported to have been cut.
At the time of the arrest September 7th, Officers reported that the man was found with a stolen vehicle that contained multiple containers of gasoline. Officers also said that they found items reported stolen from a DWP cabin in Big Pine Creek and an instrument that they believe was used to smash the windows out of the cars.
The local speculation on the motivation for the vandalism has ranged from eco-terrorists to anti-wilderness advocates. The views of the man accused of breaking car windows and burglary do not appear to fit into either category.
Hollowell says that so far the suspect is not talking much, but pages on the internet show a man that has a passion for the outdoors and mountaineering. In happier times Christiana is shown on the summit of Mt. Whitney and backpacking in the Sierra. His quest to bag the highest peaks on each of the seven continents has taken Christiana to places like Antarctica and Asia. The front cover of a fraternity magazine shows the suspect on the summit of Mt. Everest in Nepal.
Christianas myspace blog shows a darker side. He writes that the U.S. government has planted chips in his brain to read his thoughts and George Bush Seniors New World Order, is communism disguised as democracy.
The Inyo District Attorneys office has charged Christiana with vandalism, burglary, and vehicle theft. At this time the DAs office has not charged the suspect in any other recent acts of vandalism in the Eastern Sierra.