Man's wires cause mall scare

DeKalb man’s wires, gadgets lead to his arrest

The various wires, electronics and gadgets attached to a 30-year-old DeKalb County man didn’t look quite right to onlookers, who called police after seeing the man walking toward a movie theater.

Just weeks after a mass shooting massacre at a Colorado movie theater, the man had the appearance of someone wanting to be destructive, according to police.

Turns out, nothing on Daniel Guillermo Tudela’s body was anything dangerous. The devices includes a phone, MP3 player and GPS unit, his attorney said.

But Tudela was charged this week with having a hoax device, a misdemeanor, and booked into the Gwinnett County jail late Tuesday, according to police.

Tudela, of Stone Mountain, was released from jail about three hours later, booking records show. Later Wednesday, his attorney called the charge unwarranted, and said Tudela was not a terrorist and had no intention of harming anyone.

“The public should know that these charges are wrongful, outrageous, and inflammatory and that my client had no intent whatsoever to give any appearance of possessing a destructive device of any kind,” Regina Matthews, Tudela’s attorney, said in an emailed statement to Channel 2 Action News.

“He is not a terrorist, doesn’t condone terrorism, does not take terrorism lightly/jokingly and would never intentionally cause people to think that he would cause harm to them,” Matthews said.

But Tudela’s appearance prompted a call to 911 when he was seen near Discover Mills on Sept. 13.

“In the day of age that we’re in today, with terrorist activity, and dressing like one, one would assume that you are one,” Cpl. Ed Ritter with Gwinnett police told Channel 2.

Investigators waited to charge Tudela to confirm that he wasn’t a threat, Ritter said.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.