MCFRS News Release

15-Year Old Arrested for Making Bomb

Teacher Intervenes, Averts injury

A fifteen (15) year-old Rockville youth has been arrested and charged for his involvement with making a ‘bottle-bomb’ near the Mark Twain School, in Rockville this afternoon, Tuesday, October 31, 2006.

Mark Twain School is a public secondary school located at 14501 Avery Road, in Rockville. Most students have special educational needs associated with emotional disabilities, learning difficulties, behavioral difficulties and other health impairments.

Shortly before 2:30 p.m., Fire and Explosive Investigators from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) were notified of student whom had apparently manufactured and detonated a ‘bottle bomb’. The 15 year old student had been detained by school officials until the arrival of Fire and Explosive Investigators.

It is believed that the youth was about to board a school bus near the school when a teacher standing nearby noticed something suspicious. The teacher approached the boy and intervened. In doing so the device apparently had been activated by a chemical reaction. The teacher immediately moved or threw the device to a remote area away from other students and busses. The device exploded. There were no injuries.

Homemade devices can be hazardous and hurtful to both the bomb maker, other people in the area as well as the intended target, if any. Of course, the primary danger to the maker is there is no industry safety standard related to homemade explosives and it is difficult to control and/or predict when a particular device will detonate once it has been armed or activated. Investigators believe that this specific device, described as a bottle bomb, was made with fairly common household products.

MCFRS Fire and Explosive Investigators were assisted by Rockville City Police and Montgomery County Public School security. Fire and Explosive Investigators have arrested and charged the youth with one count of Manufacturing and Possession of an Explosive Device and one count of Reckless Endangerment. Other charges are pending. The penalty for possession and use of explosive devices can be up to 25 years in jail and/or up to $250,000 in fines.

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