3 jailed for making, setting off'acid bombs'

September 14, 2001|By DARREN SIMON and MARIO RENTERIA, Staff Writers

CALEXICO — Three youths here were arrested Thursday night for allegedly manufacturing "acid bombs" and detonating the devices, Calexico police said this morning.

The boys, ages 13, 14 and 15, were booked into the county juvenile hall, where they remained this morning.

The case unfolded shortly before 10 p.m. when police were called to the 200 block of Encinas Avenue after a report that youths were detonating explosive devices near an apartment complex.

Calexico fire Capt. Ernesto Avila said when police arrived they found two 2-liter bottles and a 1-liter bottle containing a mixture of liquids that can be explosive.

Calexico fire crews and a county bomb squad were summoned to deal with the devices. Another 10 bottles that had been detonated were reportedly found in the trash near the apartment complex.


A sister of one of the boys came outside from an apartment and showed police a gallon of liquid thought to be part of the explosive mix, Avila said.

Without describing the mix, Avila said all the materials for such devices — known as acid bombs — can be purchased at grocery stores.

However, he said he is unsure how the youths learned to mix the proper elements.

"This is just homemade stuff," Avila said, adding the boys were putting themselves and others at risk.

He said because of the danger, 12 people from three different apartments in the complex were evacuated until the scene was cleared.

Avila added the fire and police officials do not take such "malicious" activity by adults or youths lightly.

The investigation into the case is ongoing. Because the suspects are juveniles their names were not released.

About a month ago an acid bomb was found in the Nosotros Park in Calexico by a resident who was unaware of its contents.

He flagged down a police officer and showed him the two-liter bottle. The officer transported the bottle to the Fire Department, where the bomb was later detonated by the county arson-bomb unit.

Fire investigators said the resident and the police officer were lucky the bomb didn't detonate during its transport.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería contributed to the story.

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