NEWPORT BEACH – Responding to a report of vandalism on Tuesday afternoon, in a recently vacated unit in the Coronado Apartments in the 1800 block of Sherington Place, police arrived to find threatening messages painted on the walls, other extensive damage and two glass jars containing a white, powdery substance, labeled “Anthrax”.
According to police and apartment management, Phong Huu Nguyen, 29, had recently been evicted from the apartment and is suspected of being the vandal. Phong was arrested late Tuesday night in Los Angeles and booked into Newport Beach Jail for criminal threats. Bail was set at $50,000 dollars.
Upon discovering the glass jars marked Anthrax, police exited the apartment, called for help and began evacuating surrounding residents.
Responding agencies included the Newport Beach Fire Department and Haz Mat team and the Orange County Sherriff’s bomb squad. After assessing the contents of the jars, they were able to establish that the substance was not anthrax, but corn starch, and posed no threat.
Police ask anyone with information regarding this crime to contact the Newport Beach Police Department at (800) 550-NBPD. The public is encouraged to call with any information and messages can be left anonymously if desired.