WOODLAND (CBS13) – Perhaps suffering from a brain freeze, a man claiming to be Jesus intentionally drove his truck through a 7-Eleven store in Woodland on Wednesday morning and then started throwing things in the store.
“I don’t why he thinks that but I do honestly believe that he thinks he may be Jesus Christ,” neighbor Tanisha Caraveo said.
Woodland police officers responded to the 7-Eleven at 1229 E. Main St. at about 7:30 a.m. and arrested 56-year-old Woodland resident Dennis Cortopassi, who was still outside the store when officers arrived. Cortopassi was booked at the Yolo County Jail for vandalism, burglary and battery. Bail was set at $50,000.
Police spokesman Cpl. Dave Krause told CBS13 that Cortopassi was not intoxicated or on drugs when he drove his truck through the glass storefront, nor were there any indications that he had a bad experience with a Slurpee.
Krause said Cortopassi offered some sort of explanation to officers as to why he did so but that he couldn’t divulge that information.
A store clerk told CBS13 that Cortopassi got out of his car and started throwing cups and other items in the coffee station of the store.
Cortopassi told him he was with Jesus and not to worry about the damage, he would pay for it. The clerk says the guy then grabbed a cup of coffee, threw it on the clerk and then got another cup of coffee to drink. He then told the clerk he would wait for the police. The clerk was already on the phone with them.
In a jailhouse interview with CBS13′s Nick Janes, Cortopassi said he was in fact Jesus Christ and that crashing his truck was a way to draw attention to his message. He admitted to engaging in high-speed chases in Davis and Fresno for similar purposes.
“Today, I got fed up and did something so people will notice me. I purposely crashed and made sure nobody got hurt. I gave the clerk a card that said, ‘I am Jesus Christ,’ and then told him to call the cops.”
His neighbor Caraveo says she has heard this before. She showed CBS13 crosses that Cortopassi painted on her garbage cans.
“He obviously, probably, needs some help I would think,” Caraveo said.
“Two-thousand years ago, when Jesus Christ was here, people more than likely thought he was crazy too, even when he did miracles,” Cortopassi said. “Why would I do the things I do if I didn’t know I was him? I am confident God is not going to let His son die again. I guess, I believe at this point I cannot die. I’m here to help the world if they want my help.”
No one was injured in the incident, police said. Cortopassi told CBS13 he wasn’t worried about his safety because, as God’s son, he can’t die.