FAIRBANKS AK. Jan 25 2010
— A 24-year-old Nevada man who beat up a security guard in the parking garage of the federal courthouse and took the guard’s gun, holding him at gunpoint before fleeing, was sentenced to more than 18 years in prison on Friday.
Saying he heard no evidence that Jarrid Bloom wanted to change his ways, U.S. District Court judge Ralph Beistline sentenced Bloom to 18 years and four months in federal prison.
“You have never made a wise choice in your life,” Beistline said, chastising Bloom during Friday’s sentencing hearing. “You were destined to be shot, beat up or incarcerated.”
The judge called Bloom a “petty thief” who has spent five of his six adult years behind bars. Bloom had been out of jail only 21 days when he was caught by security guard Louis Maloney breaking into cars in the parking garage at the federal courthouse on July 7.
“If you had just said, ‘Oh, you’ve got me’ and walked out with the security guard you’d probably be out of jail by now,” Beistline said. “You escalated it at every point along the way, and now you’re facing decades in jail.”
Bloom, who had been in Alaska for only eight days after moving to Fairbanks from Reno, Nev., started a fight with Maloney after the security guard found a small tinfoil cube of marijuana on him during a search. Bloom punched Maloney a half dozen times in the face, breaking his eye socket, before wrestling the guard’s gun away. Holding Maloney at gunpoint, Bloom took the guard’s baton and wallet before pointing the gun at a car and shooting the tire. He ordered Maloney to wait 40 seconds before doing anything and fled on a bike.
Fairbanks police caught Bloom on his bike outside the courthouse. He had Maloney’s baton and wallet, and the gun was located nearby.
Bloom pleaded guilty in October and struck a plea deal with the state.
Bloom received 10 years for using a handgun during a violent crime and the rest of the time for assaulting a law enforcement officer. He also was ordered to pay $10,500 in restitution to Maloney and will face five years of probation when he gets out of prison. Three other felony charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.
Maloney, who underwent surgery in August to repair his eye socket, spoke at Friday’s sentencing hearing. He said he thought Bloom was going to kill him.
“I figured death was imminent,” Maloney told Beistline. “My biggest fear was what he would do with my duty weapon to someone else.”
Maloney, who is undergoing physical therapy as a result of injuries to his shoulder suffered in the fight, said the incident with Bloom continues to haunt him. He still has a hard time sleeping, breaks out in cold sweats and is “always on guard.”
Addressing Bloom, he told the 24-year-old to “count his blessings.”
“If this had happened on my property or in my house, the outcome would have been very different,” Maloney told Bloom.
Maloney, who works full time for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was working as a part-time security guard at the time of the incident. He said he missed a month of work at his regular job and hasn’t been cleared to go back to work as a security guard yet, forcing his wife to take a part-time job in addition to her full-time job.
Bloom, dressed in orange prison garb, apologized to Maloney and said what he did “was the worst decision of my life.” He couldn’t explain why he made that decision.
“I don’t know what happened,” he said, dabbing tears from his eyes with a Kleenex. “I can’t explain a motive. I went crazy.”
Bloom’s attorney, federal public defender M.J. Hayden, asked for a prison term of 15 years, noting that Bloom had a lengthy criminal record but was not prone to violence. Bloom previously was convicted of felony counts of grand theft auto and possession of a stolen vehicle in Nevada.
“He doesn’t have a history of violence,” she said. “This was a horrific offense, but it was not something he planned. It was a case of unfortunate circumstances that pulled together all at the same time.”
U.S. Assistant District Attorney Stephen Cooper recommended a sentence of more than 20 years, citing his “extensive” criminal history, which began when he was 13 years old.
“We’re dealing with somebody who is recidivist on a grand scale, and he’s only 24 years old,” Cooper said.
Bloom will serve his time in a federal penitentiary in Nevada.