Bombs found at high school in Frederick County

August 27, 2004|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF

Two homemade pipe bombs were found in a sophomore's backpack at Middletown High School in Frederick County, prompting school officials to evacuate nearly 1,300 students and dismiss them for the day, authorities said.

School officials were tipped off by another student, who said the 14-year-old boy had the devices. They searched his bag, evacuated the school and called in law enforcement authorities, including the county sheriff's office and the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office.

Investigators also went to the boy's home and found two other pipe bombs in his bedroom, said W. Faron Taylor, deputy state fire marshal. He said the parents cooperated with investigators.

The boy - whose name wasn't released because he is a juvenile - did not threaten to use the devices, Taylor said.

The boy was arrested and is in the custody of state juvenile justice authorities, Taylor said. He could be criminally charged as an adult with manufacturing a destructive device, a charge that carries a maximum 25-year sentence and $250,000 fine, Taylor said.

Frederick County State's Attorney Scott Rolle said the boy was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation yesterday afternoon. Rolle said he needed more information before deciding how to proceed on the felony charge preferred by the state fire marshal's office.

Taylor said the school will be open for classes today.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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