Two small bombs explode in Harford parking lot

3rd device fails to go off

police arrest two teens

December 24, 2004|By Sara Neufeld and Anica Butler | Sara Neufeld and Anica Butler,SUN STAFF

Two 16-year-old boys were arrested last night and more arrests were expected after two small bombs exploded in the parking lot of the Havre de Grace Community Center and a third was found that did not go off, authorities said.

The Harford County community center was empty at the time of the incident, which occurred shortly before 2 p.m. yesterday, and no injuries were reported, said Joseph G. Zurolo Jr., an explosives technician for the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

The two teens were charged with manufacturing a destructive explosive device in connection with the bomb that did not detonate, Zurolo said. They were released to the custody of their parents.

He said arrests were expected in connection with the two bombs that did explode.

Zurolo characterized the incident as "experimentation." He said the boys did not intend to hurt anyone. They learned how to make "chemical bottle bombs" and decided to test what they had learned, he said.

The bombs were made by mixing household chemicals in bottles or cans, he said.

At 1:55 p.m., Havre de Grace police were called about a small SUV crashing into a chain-link fence behind Meadowvale Elementary School, Zurolo said. The vehicle was occupied by the two teens, who had gotten into an accident while trying to flee.

Police saw remnants of a small bomb in the vehicle, Zurolo said. The boys were cooperative and directed the police to the nearby community center, at 100 Lagaret Lane. There, police found the three bombs, two of which had exploded and one had not.

Donald R. Morrison, a Harford County schools spokesman, said classes at Meadowvale were not disrupted and were dismissed without incident at 3:30 p.m.

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