Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Explosive device at LaPorte County Fair prompts arrests of teens

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TOM COYNE,

Associated Press

A 16-year-old who brought an explosive device to a crowded northern Indiana county fair for the thrill of seeing people's reaction has been arrested, along with the teenager who made the device and one who interfered when sheriff's deputies tried to make the initial arrest.

Authorities credited the two people who tipped off authorities Thursday night with avoiding a potentially deadly explosion at the LaPorte County Fair, about 25 miles west of South Bend.

"If it would have been exploded like they planned, evidently, it could have definitely injured some people, and I guess it's not beyond the fact that it could have even killed someone," LaPorte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer said Monday. "It probably would have depended on how close they were when it went off."

LaPorte County Sheriff's Maj. John Boyd said after interviewing the teenagers all from the LaPorte area authorities don't believe they intended to harm anyone.

"It was intended to be detonated, but only to get a reaction out of people and for their own thrill," he said.

The teenager with the backpack was charged with possession of a destructive device and the other was charged with manufacturing a destructive device. They would have faced more serious charges if authorities believed they intended to harm anyone, Boyd said.

The names of the two and the third who interfered with the initial arrest have not been released because they are charged as juveniles.

Boyd said a person at the county fair and a caller to 911 tipped off authorities about the plot about 9 p.m. Thursday, saying the teenager had an explosive device and planned to detonate it near the carnival rides. He said deputies were able to find the teenager within seven minutes based on the description they had been given.

The device was taken away from the fair and quickly dismantled by the dismantled Porter County Bomb Squad, Boyd said.

A third teenager, also 16, who argued with police as they tried to arrest the teen with the backpack and kicked officers was subdued using a chemical spray, Boyd said. He was taken into custody for disorderly conduct, battery to a police officer and resisting law enforcement.

 

Posted 7/15/2013