Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hebron's Bomb(shell)

The Examiner said in this story that authorities waited three days to inform the wider school community about a homemade bomb in a lobby trashcan.

Two 15-year-old students are facing felony charges for setting off the device on Tuesday morning, but parents and students were kept in the dark until Friday afternoon.

“I think it’s a little ridiculous they waited so long,” said Caroline Rosenvold, a 17-year-old senior.

“An explosive [device] can be pretty dangerous, so I don’t think they should have waited.”

Mount Hebron Student Government Association President Allie Birmingham said, “I wish we would have found out sooner, [but] they were probably just investigating before they gave out any information.”

Principal David Brown told students over the loudspeaker about 15 minutes before school let out Friday and called a faculty meeting in the choir room after school, Rosenvold said. He also sent a letter to parents.

Brown called Mount Hebron High PTA President Tony Culler right after the incident, Culler said.

Here's the offical PD release:

Howard County Police are charging two 15-year-old teens with making an explosive device and detonating it this week at Mt. Hebron High School. The boys, both from Ellicott City, are facing a felony charge that carries up to 25 years in prison. No one was injured in the incident.

Students at the school reported to an administrator around 7:15 Tuesday morning that they heard an explosion in the lobby. Administrators determined that an unknown device had gone off in a trashcan where they detected an unusual odor. They viewed videotape from the school’s surveillance camera and identified students near the incident.

One of the two involved students was interviewed by administrators Wednesday morning. The school notified the school resource officer, who began an investigation and determined that the device was a homemade explosive made with household cleaning chemicals.

The teen was charged Thursday morning with making and using a destructive device, which is a felony, and reckless endangerment. He could face up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for the felony charge.

Last night, police identified a second student involved in making the explosive device. Investigators intend to charge him with the same two counts.

Police are reminding teens and parents that an incident involving a destructive device will result in a felony arrest. Making or detonating explosive material carries heavy penalties and should not be considered a prank.

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