Maryville teens use internet to create and detonate homemade bombs

(WBIR-Maryville) Two teens were charged with possession of explosive components after Maryville police said they set off homemade bombs three times in three days.

Tony Crisp, Chief of the Maryville Police Department, said the teens, ages 13 and 15, used the internet to create their own bombs.

"It's basically some chemicals in a bottle and the bottle is sealed, a soda-type bottle, and with different components and chemicals inside that builds up pressure and eventually explodes," said Crisp.

The first incident happened in their neighborhood, off Compton Road, Saturday night.

Monday morning, around 5 a.m., officers were called out to the Brantley Park subdivision off Brown School Rd, where police said the teens chucked a second explosive over the fence and onto a man's roof.

"He looked at it, laid it back down, went in his house and about five to 10 minutes later he heard an explosion and went outside and the bomb had exploded," said Crisp.

Crisp said if the bomb had exploded in the man's hands, the teens could be facing some serious jail time.

"They're very dangerous, it's sort of no different than having a large firework, if you will. You certainly have a danger of loss of life or limb," said Crisp. "Is it as dangerous as a stick of dynamite? No. But is it more dangerous than a cherry bomb, yes."

Crisp said the third time came Monday evening, around 11 p.m. down the street from the teen's home.

One neighbor, who regularly throws a football around with the teens said he heard the bottle explode.

"It sounded like someone shooting a shotgun off really. And that was my main concern, was, who's out here shooting?" said Austin Green, a senior at Maryville High School.

Green said the teens weren't trying to cause harm.

"They were just playing around and actually I think one of them was just trying to impress his little girlfriend. So it wasn't meant to hurt anybody or anything and luckily no one did get hurt," said Green.

Neighbors in the Brantley Park subdivision said while they understand teens will be teens, detonating explosives is not a joke.

"With all the stuff in the media of different gunshots and explosions in different places I can see their curiosity but when they take that curiosity into action that can be a little concerning," said Travis Lucas, a father of three with a baby on the way. "Hopefully they learned their lesson and won't be making these mistakes again."

Crisp said the teens will go through the juvenile court system.

"The investigation is ongoing but we believe we have resolved the problem," said Crisp.

He said vandalism tends to spike near Halloween.

"It's sort of like a lot of things, you know something starts out very minor and it progresses a little bit and it gets worse," said Crisp.

Officers said the teens also admitted to throwing eggs at homes.


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