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California Man Charged in Attack on Republican Club Office

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LOS ANGELES — A California man has been charged with arson in a firebomb attack on a local Republican club office.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said 23-year-old Carlos Espriu of Palm Desert was expected to appear in federal court on Friday.

He faces one federal charge of attempted arson and state charges of arson and igniting a destructive device, federal and county officials said.

Espriu is accused of attacking the East Valley Republican Women Federated office in La Quinta shortly after 1 a.m. on May 31.

U.S. authorities said in a statement that Espriu used a metal baseball bat to break windows at the office and tossed an incendiary device made of bottles through the window before fleeing. Surveillance video shows the man returned to the office minutes later, smashed more windows and retrieved the device.

Authorities identified Espriu as the suspect after the club offered a reward for information about the firebombing, which prompted several residents to come forward with information, the statement said.

The firebombing caused limited damage to the office, the statement said.

Espriu was arrested late Wednesday and was initially held on $1 million bail, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

It was not immediately known who was Espriu’s attorney.