SAN FRANCISCO (Sep. 24)
Coy Ray Phelps, a known anti-Semite with a prior police record, was arrested and arraigned last Friday before U.S. Magistrate Frederick Woelflen on charges of placing pipe bombs at several Jewish and non-Jewish sites in San Francisco, including a synagogue.
Information about Phelps collected by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith since 1979 “helped to add credence” to the joint investigation of the suspect by the San Francisco Police Department, the FBI and other Federal agencies, according to Inspector Tom Dickson, SFPD liaison to the Jewish community.
Phelps was arraigned on four federal felony counts for the placement of explosive devices in a business and ethnic studies classroom at San Francisco State University on May 14, Congregation Adath Israel on July 1 and the Horowitz Family Education Center at Congregation Beth Sholom here last Monday. He is also charged with planting a device that exploded last Monday at the headquarters of the Humanist Party.
Each count carries a 10-year sentence and $250,000 fine. Phelps is being held without bail at San Francisco County Jail. He had a prior arrest on an explosives charge in 1980 but eluded conviction on a “technicality,” according to Dickson. He had been a suspect in the 1979 bombings of the now closed Merkaz Bookstore and Young Israel, both near Congregation Adath Israel.
The ADL’s regional director, Rhonda Abrams, described Phelps as “extremely vicious, pro-violence, anti-Jewish, anti-Black and anti-Communist.”