A Spring Valley man was charged with multiple gun-related felonies in a San Diego Superior Courtroom Monday after a graphic video was posted, showing the suspect fire empty assault-style rifles at unknowing pedestrians from a hotel window downtown.
Steve Homoki, 30, was charged with three felony counts of possession of an assault weapon and three counts of child abuse, according to court documents. He pleaded not guilty.
The San Diego Police Department arrested Homoki on Dec. 5, hours after SDPD investigators seized 14 registered firearms, including two assault-style rifles, from his Spring Valley home.
The three possession charges included the following guns: Springfield Arms AR-15, Black AR-15 “Anderson Man,” and CZ Scorpion Folsom’s Stick Rifle, according to court documents.
Days prior, law enforcement received a tip that Homoki had “gone off the deep end” and that “he will open fire on federal agents or police” if confronted.
Homoki’s relationship with guns was apparent in YouTube videos he posted in September under the alias of Stephen Anderson.
The videos were from a stay at the Sofia Hotel in March, according to court documents obtained by NBC 7 Investigates.
In the graphic videos, several guns, high-capacity magazines, and hundreds of bullets were strewn across the hotel room floor.
“You drop one mag, you pick up another, right? Then you pick up another… Then you drop it, you drop the gun, pick up another gun,” the man in the video muttered under his breath. “What you do, this is what you do.”
At one point, the suspect ran back to the window overlooking a crowded Front Street and grabbed a half-full bottle of liquor. He unclipped one magazine cartridge and reloaded an empty cartridge into the assault rifle.
In the comments section on one of the YouTube videos, Homoki reportedly wrote, “Everything is fabricated for entertainment and none of these are intended for any audience. This is a private video. Shall not be published online for anyone to view and this is satire and not in any way shape or form to be taken seriously. Should children with toy guns deserve to get shot?”
In a jailhouse interview, Homoki called the videos a miniature art project.
On Monday, prosecutors called it a “fantasy rehearsal of a simulated mass shooting.”
To read more about the details concerning the posted videos, click here.
Prosecutor Wendy Patrick confirmed the videos themselves were not illegal; however, a video appeared to show an illegal weapon, which gave authorities probable cause to search Homoki’s home.
All six charges referenced Dec. 5 – the day Homoki was arrested.
Court records did not provide details on the three child abuse charges. However, in court Monday, the judge said a child was present with the loaded firearms.
Homoki’s defense said he had no previous criminal record.
“This is an example of what happens when the community sees something and said something. This person was instrumental in letting us know what was happening,” said SDPD Sgt. Matthew Botkin.
Botkin stressed the important role that the anonymous tipster played in arresting Homoki, and ensuring the guns were removed.
Homoki appeared in San Diego Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. Monday, marking his first court appearance in the case.
Homoki’s bail was set at $1 million.
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Source: NBC San Diego