Man accused of firing explosives from yard Search of his home

turns up array of materials

January 15, 1998|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

It didn't take Baltimore County police long to locate the source of a complaint that someone was launching bombs over a Pulaski Highway carwash. Across the street was a man holding an unexploded, 2-foot-long bomb, police said.

But it took hours to empty his Rosedale house in the 1200 block of White Ave. of explosives, chemicals, fuses, tubes, caps and how-to manuals -- an array of paraphernalia so extensive that police evacuated six surrounding houses as a precaution.

The fallout from the discovery of a basement lab filled with dangerous chemicals triggered a chain of events that stretched from Monday afternoon into yesterday morning. County bomb experts, hazardous materials specialists and fire and emergency technicians scurried to warn neighbors to leave while the workers removed dozens of bottles, hundreds of bomb parts and explosive powder from the home's basement.

Arrested in the incident was Robert Gettman Boone, 51, who police said was shooting explosives across Pulaski Highway from the back yard of his home.

Boone was charged yesterday with possession of an incendiary device with intent to harm, possessing explosives without a license, and making, possessing and distributing a destructive device.

Detective James Geibel last night displayed a partial inventory of items taken from the Boone house. Bottles, jars, cigar boxes, fuses, caps and wiring filled two tables in the hallway of the police station.

About two dozen books on explosives, including one entitled "The Big Bang," also were taken in.

Holding a 2-foot-long homemade explosive device made of plastic pipe, Geibel said, "We thought if he could build something like this, that somewhere there was more."

A search of the house turned up a lot more -- so much that county police worked from about 10 p.m. Monday until 5: 30 yesterday morning, removing it from the house Boone shared with his brother and mother.

Neighbors near Boone's home -- six houses in all -- were evacuated for about six hours, Geibel said. The displaced families stayed in a local firehouse until they could return to their homes.

Boone told two officers who responded to the report of explosives being used on Pulaski Highway that he was "just doing some experiments with high explosives," according to the police report of the incident.

He also assured the officers, "There's nothing to get excited about," according to the report.

Boone told the officers that explosives were his hobby and that he had been working with them for some time, the report stated.

Boone was being detained at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup last night, police said.

Pub Date: 1/15/98

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