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[whitespace] Firebombing suspect made racist video

Willow Glen--The 19-year-old man accused of firebombing Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Jack Komar's home last month left more than a charred front porch behind as testimony to his white supremacist beliefs. Victor Quintin Podbreger also left a videotape, recorded the night before and on the morning of the alleged hate crime, which shows Podbreger and friends spouting racist and anti-Semitic philosophy.

After learning of the videotape last week, San Mateo County Judge Barbara Mallach set bail for Podbreger at $1 million.

Podbreger has been held without bail since the Aug. 29 attack on Komar's house. Police say Podbreger and two 17-year-olds firebombed the house because they believed Komar was Jewish. Komar is Roman Catholic.

Podbreger is charged with arson and possession of a destructive device, with hate-crime enhancement. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of 12 years and eight months.

While Podbreger's attorney, Allen Schwartz, argued at the hearing on Sept. 23 that his client has a constitutional right to bail, Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu maintained that Podbreger "is a danger to public safety" and should be held without bail. She referred to the videotape, weapons and white supremacist paraphernalia found at Podbreger's home.

Podbreger also voiced his racist ideals in interviews with police investigators, Sinunu said.

"He made it clear he hates people of the Jewish faith, African Americans, Mexican-Americans and Asian Americans, although, your honor, these are not the terms he used to describe these Americans," Sinunu said.

Sinunu also showed the judge photographs of items seized from Podbreger's residence, including two rifles, ammunition, two illegal daggers and a bandoleer with semi-automatic clips. Investigators also found various skinhead paraphernalia, hate literature and a British flag with "Skrewdriver"--a British skinhead punk band--written across it.

Two 17-year-old males are also charged in the case. Hearings for the juveniles are pending.

Investigators confiscated a paintball gun from the Laurie Avenue home of one of the juveniles, allegedly used in a 1997 attack on the judge's house.
Jessica Lyons

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Web extra to the September 30-October 6, 1999 issue of Metro.

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