The world's eyes remained fixated on a home in Cerritos today where the creator of the anti-Islam film that has fueled outrage in the Middle East remains in hiding, to stand watch in the normally quiet neighborhood.
News crews began trickling into the Cerritos cul-de-sac located south of 166th Street and Bloomfield Avenue late Wednesday night when three units were summoned at about 8:45 p.m. in response to a possible disturbance call with reference to the name Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore.
Whitmore said sheriff's deputies spoke to the home's occupants that night but left a few hours later because there was no disturbance. He declined to say who called for help, however, ABC News reported that sheriff's deputies were sent to Nakoula's home to protect him and his family because the filmmaker said he feared for his life.
As news of the Nakoula's ties to Cerritos spread, news crews flocked outside his home, waiting to catch a glimpse of the man at the center of the controversial low budget film, which continues to spark violence throughout the Middle East, including the killings of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Libya earlier this week.
Nakoula, who once pleaded no contest to a federal bank fraud charge, told The Associated Press he was a manager of the company that produced the film. He denied being the director, previously identified as Sam Bacile. However federal officials believe Nakoula, a Coptic Christian, was the man responsible for the film.
The Residence in the Spotlight
With Nakoula and his family -- his wife, two sons and a daughter -- holed up inside the residence, news crews resorted to capturing photos of the home's exterior in an attempt to gather clues about the mystery man behind the controversial film, which depicts Muhammad as a violent womanizer and supporter of child abuse.
Most noticeable were the three vehicles haphazardly parked outside the residence.
- A silver Mercedes S430 on the driveway was left with some of its windows rolled down. On the front passenger seat was a bottle of prescription medication and a handicap placard.
- A white Nissan Altima was hastily parked perpendicular to the edge of the driveway in the middle of the street. The front dash displayed a Cal State Long Beach parking permit for the Spring 2012 semester. It's backseat piled with a woman's handbag and grocery bags carrying a bottle of juice and bleach. A strand of beads with a cross was also hanging from the rear-view mirror.
- A black Ford Frontier with significant exterior damage was parked in front of the home. The front dash displayed a parking permit to Concordia University.
Placed on the curb near the sidewalk was a wooden headboard and beat up couch. The front porch offered a variety of details including, a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary holding Jesus, a pair of women's tennis shoes, and random mailers from local businesses. Perhaps the oddest of the details was the missing doorknob on the front door. At some point Thursday, someone inside the home used paper to cover the small windows atop the front door.
Neighbors said the family had lived there for about 10 years but kept mostly to themselves.
"They seem normal," said Hana Shields, who lives nearby. "I am shocked. Just completely in shock, especially in this neighborhood," she said. "It is a very quiet neighborhood...everybody is friendly."
No one has exited the home since Wednesday, when the Associated Press reports having talked to Nakoula outside. Members of the media took turns knocking on the front door, but failed to draw a response from the home's occupants. There was little visible movement inside the home Thursday into early Friday morning, except for the occasional switching on/off of lights in the foyer area as well as the garage.