Troubled vet who claimed to be in ISIS sentenced

A veteran with post-traumatic stress syndrome who was arrested on felony gun charges after claiming to be a member of the Islamic State group was sentenced to six months in jail by a San Mateo County court this morning.

David Diaz, 55, was also sentenced to three years probation, during which he will be required to abstain from alcohol and drugs. As part of his probation, Diaz will be barred from possession of firearms or ammunition, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

On Oct. 7, Diaz went to a sports apparel store in the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo and requested that they embroider the words “We Love Isis,” on his hat. Diaz claimed that as a member of the Islamic State group, he'd beheaded 97 nuns, and questioned the store clerk about her religion, according to Wagstaffe.

San Mateo police officers and FBI agents subsequently went to Diaz's house, where they found six rifles, two handguns, a sawed-off shotgun and magazines that are illegal under state law. Diaz was also in possession of a fully automatic assault rifle, according to Wagstaffe.

Prosecutors said Diaz denied any loyalty to the Islamic State group, but investigators discovered that he's a veteran suffering from PTSD on numerous psychiatric medications. Diaz's guns were confiscated and he was committed to a hospital on a psychiatric hold, according to Wagstaffe.

Diaz pleaded no contest to the charges against him in exchange for a referral to veterans court, but the prosecution and probation officer recommended against admitting him. The judge denied his request to join the program, according to Wagstaffe.

“It's a court to take defendants who are veterans and have some special needs, usually mental health,” Wagstaffe said. “It gets them connected to services, housing, and specialized probation officers who make sure they stay on their meds.”

The FBI and Diaz's defense attorney, Charles Smith, could not be reached for comment.

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsDavid DiazRedwood CitySan Mateo County District Attorney's Office

Just Posted

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents in the U.S. (Shutterstock)
Why California teens need mental illness education

SB 224 calls for in-school mental health instruction as depression and suicide rates rise

Ahmad Ibrahim Moss, a Lyft driver whose pandemic-related unemployment benefits have stopped, is driving again and relying on public assistance to help make ends meet. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
How much does gig work cost taxpayers?

Some drivers and labor experts say Prop. 22 pushed an undue burden on to everyday taxpayers.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who visited the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 6 headquarters on Recall Election Day, handily won after a summer of political high jinks.	<ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Lessons from a landslide: Key takeaways from California’s recall circus

‘After a summer of half-baked polls and overheated press coverage, the race wasn’t even close’

The Kimpton Buchanan Hotel in Japantown could become permanent supportive housing if The City can overcome neighborhood pushback. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Nimbytown: Will SF neighborhoods allow vacant hotels to house the homeless?

‘We have a crisis on our hands and we need as many options as possible’

Most Read