23 Aug 2014
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Stamford Officials ID City Man with Bomb-Making Materials

The owner of the Vine Road home that was evacuated and searched by Stamford authorities on Wednesday has been identified by Health Department reports.

Stamford Officials ID City Man with Bomb-Making Materials


The owner of the Stamford home that was evacuated and cordoned off by authorities this week due to the discovery of bomb-making components has been identified by a report obtained from the Stamford Health Department.

Donald Saturno, 47, was identified as the owner of property at 172 Vine Road in the report, which detailed the department's actions after responding to a complaint from the Stamford Health Commission.

According to the report, city assessor's office records indicate that the dwelling is zoned as a two-family home, but several entry doors and mailboxes were noted on the outside of the residence, which sparked the initial investigation.

The report lists Saturno as already being "in court for other housing violations within the structure," as they became involved.

A notice to inspect was mailed on Oct. 11, 2012, according to the department. When inspectors arrived on Oct. 19 at 11 a.m., Saturno refused entry, according to the report, citing he had a "no trespassing" sign posted, so they should not be on his property.

After a second failed attempt to inspect the property on Oct. 24 with inspectors accompanied by the fire marshal, the police department and the zoning department, a second notice was mailed on Dec. 18, which led to a third failed inspection attempt on Dec. 27, the report stated.

Following three failed attempts to conduct an inspection, the report stated that a search warrant was obtained and the inspection was executed on Jan. 30, 2013.

Saturno was found on the property while the inspection was being conducted, according to the report, in the unfinished, locked basement along with firearms, two dogs, an outside monitoring system and what police identified as bombs in various states of construction, though none were completed to the point that they had explosive capabilities. The Health Department also reported the following:

  • The exterior yard was "littered with wood, metal debris, pots & pans, several sheds with key locks, automobiles parts, cable wired and other rubbish," according to the report.
  • The first floor was vacant at time of the inspection, the report stated, and a strong odor was "offensive and permeated the dwelling unit." Officials were issued dust masks to get into the unit to conduct the inspection. It was evident the owner was using a back room in the first floor as an office space, according to the report. That unit contained a full bathroom with shower stall, a couch and it was noted that a space heater was plugged in, which was unplugged by the deputy fire marshal, the report said.
  • A second-floor tenant and her son had occupied the unit for about two days, according to the report. It was noted that there was dog feces on the floor, a water leak underneath the kitchen sink, exposed electrical wire from the smoke detectors and defective electrical outlets. Baseboards throughout the entire second floor dwelling unit were in disrepair, the report stated.

The violations documented by the Health Department were not the only recent complaints filed against Saturno. He had been previously cited by the Stamford Animal Care and Control Shelter for multiple violations between 2008 and 2011 concerning his German Shepherds Lou and Rexie, according to reports obtained by the office. 

Saturno's upstairs neighbor complained to authorities about the smell permeating the residence from Saturno's two dogs, the reports stated. During the incident on Wednesday, the dogs were collected by Saturno's sister, according to Capt. Brian McElligott, who was identified in Animal Control reports as "Debbie."

Saturno was issued multiple summonses, including causing a nuisance, unlicensed dogs and failure to keep dogs properly vaccinated. McElligott said the residence had been known to authorities for past disturbances.

Authorities called off the Health Department's Jan. 30 inspection and evacuated the home and surrounding neighbors when they discovered chemicals and other items that could be used to create bombs. McElligott said those items have been turned over to HAZMAT for testing to see whether they are dangerous or illegal.

As of Friday, Saturno has not been charged with any crimes. While three shotguns were seized by authorities, police said the white supremacist and anti-police propaganda they discovered in his home is all legal and materials found in the home, such as PVC piping filled with nuts and bolts and various chemicals, could be dangerous if combined, but were not illegal independently.

"There is no present threat of explosion," McElligott said.

Authorities also identified Donald Brown of Greenwich as legal counsel retained by Saturno. Brown could not be reached for comment.



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