Man found at bank with weapons had researched ways to harm people, police say

tstrickland@thetribunenews.comApril 3, 2013 

Turner Newman, 20, of San Luis Obispo, was arrested Wednesday, March 13, 2013, on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon and a loaded firearm in his vehicle. Original story »

  • Location of home

    This map shows the 200 block of Ranchito Lane in San Luis Obispo, where police served a search warrant at the home of Turner Newman in late March.

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The San Luis Obispo man arrested last month after police found him with weapons in a car outside a San Luis Obispo bank had been researching ways “to drug, render unconscious, maim, and/or kill people,” on his home computer, police said in a news release Wednesday.

Turner Newman, 20, was arrested after police discovered him outside a Heritage Oaks branch on Froom Ranch Road with a loaded shotgun, handgun, ammunition, handcuffs, leg restraints, duct tape, zip ties and a machete.

The bank was within 1,000 feet of Pacific Beach High School, where his mother works.

His intentions that morning aren't yet known, police said. Just after 6 a.m. on March 13, a bank employee called police to tell them that a suspicious-looking man was in a car parked outside the bank. When the police officers arrived, Newman appeared dazed and confused, according to authorities.

In late March, San Luis Obispo police detectives served a search warrant at his home in the 200 block of Ranchito Lane in San Luis Obispo and seized his computer, according to the news release.

“While the intentions of Newman on the date of his arrest remain unclear, the preliminary results of data found on his computer coupled with the items found in his possession at the time of arrest are of public safety concern,” police said in the statement.

Detectives don’t know whether Newman has acted on any of the information that he obtained during his Internet searches, police said, and authorities are asking anyone who may have been a victim of criminal or suspicious activity involving Newman to call the San Luis Obispo Police Department at 781-7317.

Newman has pleaded not guilty to three felony charges: possessing a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school, carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle and carrying a loaded firearm in public.

Newman remains in custody at San Luis Obispo County Jail without bail.

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