Suspected Austin bomber’s Pflugerville neighbor: ‘He was quiet and kept to himself’

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A Pflugerville neighbor of suspected Austin serial bomber Mark Conditt said the 23-year-old was polite and kept to himself in the year he knew him.

“I talked to his dad (William) more,” said Mark Roessler, 57, who lived across Second Street from the suspect. “[William Conditt] remodeled the house and I would see him working outside and go talk to him. He was a loving father and saw it as a good opportunity to build a bond with his son.”

Roessler said Mark Conditt never caused trouble in the neighborhood.

“He was nice,” Roessler said. “We were going to give some furniture away and we gave it to him. He was very respectful. He was quiet and kept to himself.”

He admitted to being surprised that Conditt would be the suspect in five bombing cases in Central Texas since March 2. Conditt died early Wednesday morning when SWAT team members approached his vehicle after he left a Round Rock hotel along I-35. The police situation closed the southbound lanes of the major highway for most of the morning.

Until Wednesday morning, Roessler said he was like every other area resident, skeptical of packages on porches and more cautious around anything that seemed suspicious.

“We were like everybody else, especially after seeing a lot of traffic last night when there was a call about a suspicious package in this area,” Roessler said. “It had you on edge.”

That edge took another turn this morning.

“My wife and I were watching the news and we saw our church on Railroad [Avenue in Pflugerville],” Roessler said. “Then I went outside and saw three cars parked on the street. They got out with their weapons out and had me put my hands up.”

Roessler, having been in Conditt’s house several times, said he was able to help the FBI by drawing a floor plan. Roessler said he then watched as “a tactical team with a ramming vehicle move two vehicles, pushing them past the house and then they took position.”

A person Roessler believes was a roommate of Conditt was called out of the house and arrested.

“We were asked to leave the house,” he said. “I’ve been walking around, talking to people. It has been crazy.”

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Joe Warner
Joe Warner is managing editor of the nine Austin-Central Texas editions of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.
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