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Nakoula Family Leaves Cerritos Home In Darkness With Plans Never to Return

The Cerritos residence, which has been the scene of a media frenzy since last week, is now empty -- devoid of a family that says they will relocate elsewhere in search of a sense of normalcy.

Editor's Note: Though Patch witnessed the Nakoula family's Monday morning departure from their Cerritos home, it was the Editor's decision NOT to take any photographs or video of the family at the scene.


The family of the man linked to the controversial anti-Islamic film "Innocence of Muslims", route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"sam-bacile-nakoula-basseley-nakoula-anti-islam-muslim-filmmaker-appears-to-have-ties-to-cerritos-u-s-ambassador-to-libya-christopher-stevens"} --> left their Cerritos home amid darkness Monday morning with assistance from members of the

Joy Lee September 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM
The more and more I read your work on this story, the more impressed I become with your talent and integrity MarieSam. Your decision not to take photos or video of the family is hnorable and not something I think other news stations would do. You are really a classy lady. I do feel for this family especially the children who I doubt had any part in the making of this stupid movie. They are now left having to start their lives over because of a dumb decision made by their father. Parents need to realize how their actions can affect their children. I hope these kids find hope in their new lives.
Nancy Wride (Editor) September 17, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Well said, Joy. Unmatched reporting, and the decent call on posting the visuals. I wonder if the other crew there has done the same? The filmmaker chose a path that would potentially draw attention, but his family did not.
Rogelio September 17, 2012 at 09:43 PM
I hope the kids change their name. However, normacly for the filmmaker is something, that should elude him. The video was clearly meant to provocate. He is from Egypt so he knows full well what the likeley result of the production could be. The attacks in Lybia were clearly planned, and this guy's movie was just an excuse. Regardless, normalcy for him? I think not.
MarieSam Sanchez (Editor) September 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Thanks Joy, I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment. The decision not to take photos or video was something I felt strongly about -- no matter what you feel toward Mr. Nakoula, it cannot be easy for any family to have to leave their life behind. So watching their departure was pretty heart-wrenching because there are children involved who will never get to say goodbye to classmates or friends. And as a mother, it struck a chord with me.
Watts September 18, 2012 at 01:31 AM
ABC News (and maybe other sources, but this is the first that I have heard) is reporting that the wife's family financed the film for about $60k: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/family-anti-islam-filmmaker-joins-hiding/story?id=17255528#.UFfLXqSe7fs I think that the kids should be taken away from the parents, because of this reckless behavior that now threatens all of their lives and probably for the rest of their lives. Not only that, but seemingly now, both parents were involved, which means that they have most likely been brainwashing their kids into a life of extremist thinking, which is no better than the extremist subset teachings within Islam or any other religion. This guy wasn't just exercising free speech, he was abusing it with malice, showing an intent to create something that was meant to create a violent situation that put American lives at risk (and inevitably resulted in American deaths). This guy should be tried just as anybody who yells fire in an enclosed building; where the resulting panic is the direct cause of somebody's death.
Watts September 18, 2012 at 01:41 AM
"At 3:49 a.m., the three vehicles drove off, taking the Nakoulas to the Cerritos Station, where they reunited with Mr. Nakoula. The family left from there in their own vehicle." - This reads as if the film maker left with the family and is now gone into hiding and is not in police custody. Am I reading this correctly or should this last sentence read something like; "The family, minus Nakuola himself, left from there in their own vehicle."
MarieSam Sanchez (Editor) September 18, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Actually Watts, you are reading that correctly. The family reunited with Mr. Nakoula and they drove off together. He at no point was every taken into custody, detained or arrested -- this was emphasized by the sheriff's department spokesperson. Although he is linked to a film that has spurred violence and protest overseas, including the death of a U.S. Ambassador -- under freedom of speech, he has not committed a crime when it comes to the making of this film. Now if he actually did use a computer or the internet, that's when he would have violated his probation -- I think that detail is still under investigation.
Watts September 18, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Given the likelihood that he may never be heard from again and is probably the definition of a "flight risk" right now to leave the country completely, I wish that there was some way that he could have been detained given what would appear to be likely that he had (at the very least) violated his parole. This isn't a guy who anybody should be feeling sorry for. He was convicted on meth production charges, fraud, identity theft and he continued to use aliases (another violation of his probation) and even when the movie first started to to create the violence, he even further tried to stoke the anger by falsely claiming that he was Israeli and that the movie was financed by other Israelis. Given all the civil rights that we have had to sacrifice here in the US as a result of things like the Patriot Act, I can't believe that there was nothing that could have detained this person at least until it was determined if he had or hadn't violated his parole. I think that it would be great to read how a guy with this criminal past, with this connection to this level of global violence that resulted in the deaths of Americans abroad and with this likelihood of probation violation, was allowed to just get in a car with his family (who, we now know another member helped finance this movie), when even they are saying that they are leaving never to return. How is such a person, given all of his circumstances, allowed to just walk off like that in the middle of the night?
Watts September 18, 2012 at 04:31 AM
And eher is a very coherent analysis of how this film crosses outside of simple 1st amendment protection: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-chayes-innocence-of-muslims-first-amendment-20120918,0,3112718.story
LastFreeAmerican September 18, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Watts, You are the perfect future Muslim oppressed. Those clowns in the middle east, Islamic followers, need to join at least the 1800's even though its 2012!!! I can believe you are so eager to appease some religious nut case.. I will always defend my fellow Americans right to their god given but paid for in American blood basic freedoms, speach being #1 IMO. Sad when you are so willing to just give it up, guess we have had it to easy here for to long!!
Dutch September 18, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Regardless of Mr. Nakoula's criminal behavior in the past, and possible violation of his parole he did nothing wrong. Who have baptist Christians you protest US troop funerals and they are protected under our first amendment right. What did Mr. Nakoula do with the release of these movie that violated other peoples rights nothing that has been brought to light. The true violators of rights are those in the middle east rioting and sodomizing a us ambassador, and killing 3 other Americans. Couple that with information given to the current administration 3 days prior to embassy attack that they did not act on. Mr Nakoula is not responsible for the deaths of those Americans as other commentators have said. The middle east truly hates america and looks for any excuse it can to attack us or belittle our country through the current president. Its a shame Mr. Nakoula who was exercising a right in this country is being scapegoated regardless of whether he had a point or not but maybe he did. The cruel irony if you watch the movie it talks about a lot of things that have happened such as riots and sodomizing men.
Watts September 18, 2012 at 06:21 PM
My comments are out there for both the enlightened and the ignorant to read. The 1st amendment doesn't judge your intelligence, which allows you to post things like you just did. The media has an established agenda for being absolutist in its approach to 1st amendment rights, but legally, there is a precedent for some restricted speech when it comes to public safety of Americans. So the medias position is to shy away from discussions of the nuances of legal aspects of the 1st amendment that even hint at restricted speech. This event in particular creates a gray area, because we are talking about Americans who's safety was put at risk who were in a US Embassy in a foreign country. But any question of the intent of the producers of this video are clarified by the fact that he claimed to be Israeli and that the video was financed by Israelis and was American made, all with the intent to perpetuate the initial violence. Personally, I think that the avoidance of pursuing this legally as a video that was knowingly made to create a dangerous situation, within which Americans could be harmed or killed, is politically motivated.
Watts September 18, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Obama lucked out that Romney f'd this up as quickly as he did with his initial comments and that has shown dramatically in the most recent polls that show a huge lead for Obama on foreign policy. The one thing that Obama does not want to have happen right now is to put this on trial as a potential abuse of the 1st amendment, that resulted in the deaths of Americans. That is why you are seeing the administration starting to stray from the video as the cause and to start discussing other theories about the cause. I am just pointing out the legal precedent for restricted speech exclusively when that speech is used to create dangerous circumstances. But if this was properly pursued to be tried in court, that would be devastating to Obama this close to the election. Most Americans (like yourself) only have a sound bite understanding of the 1st Amendment and do not understand the legal nuances that have developed regarding this one particular limitation. I think that most Americans have grown up knowing that you can't yell fire in a theater, but I am also sure that some people think that is literally the only thing that Americans can't do and that they do not understand that this example is meant to be representative of "restricted speech" that means that you can't hide behind the 1st amendement if your intent is to create a dangerous situation that puts lives at risk.
Quinn Sellars September 18, 2012 at 06:39 PM
As the Child of a copt I am not surprised by this at all. The Copts tend to be very very close minded and insular in an unhealthy way. They live with massive persecution complexes (some justified) but will do nothing to bring any sort of dialogue about. Their attitudes toward women and other issues mimick those of any very conservarive fundamental group; even the most strict Islamists. I find them to be suffocating and ignorant when it comes to a lot of issues. I can say with assuredness that there will be no opportunity taken here for their, or any other abouna, to attempt to use this travesty to educate his flock either. I hope mr nakoula is willing to accept the responsibility for the havoc he has caused.
Watts September 18, 2012 at 07:23 PM
I posted this above, but given your post, I think that you missed this: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-chayes-innocence-of-muslims-first-amendment-20120918,0,3112718.story Also, you have a rather strange obsession with sodomy in your post. Where did you hear that the Chris Stevens was sodomized? Sounds like you are reading some pretty far out there sources.
newazwriter September 20, 2012 at 09:49 PM
I feel very sorry for the kids, I doubt the parent(s) took the time to think of the backlash this would cause. I also am pleased at your respect for the children in not posting a photo... I look forward to reading more from you.

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