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World's Eyes Glued to Cerritos Residence as Anti-Islam Filmmaker Remains in Hiding

News crews have been camped outside the Cerritos home since Wednesday night -- the last time someone has exited the residence.

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.

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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. 

LG Joe September 14, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Look at the film for the doors inside this house. The inside of the doors match the outside doors in the photo of this house. Therefore, it is most likely the part of the film was captured inside this home. The dark stained double-doors with the four pie-shaped windows above each. In the scene, you can see the peephole, deadbolt and door handle in the same position and spacing in both the film and the photo of the front doors of this house.
K S September 17, 2012 at 05:54 AM
I have not seen this film, nor am I going to, because it sounds like a typical piece of schlock. However, in this country, it is not against the law to post idiotic drivel on YouTube. If it were, a lot more people would be in jail. But regardless, I fail to see why telling the world the general neighborhood where this man lives, and giving very salient clues as to the genders and general locations of members of his family have ANY journalistic merit whatsoever. Regardless of what one man did - none of which was illegal, although if he actually posted to Youtube he did violate the terms of his parole - his family has done nothing and, at the very least, has a really good case against whatever "enterprising journalist" thought it was a good idea to invade their privacy. You are not detectives. This information has nothing to do with the story. You are potentially endangering these people. If you had any moral decency at all, you would be ashamed.
Watts September 18, 2012 at 04:35 AM
Here 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

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