A 19-year-old Coeur d’Alene man has been charged with a crime for leaving a bomb near a Coeur d’Alene elementary school last month.
Barclay D. Bennett was charged June 7 with keeping explosives in city limits. The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail.
“It wasn’t made to hurt anybody,” Bennett told investigators, according to a Coeur d’Alene police report. “I wasn’t out to blow anything up.”
Coeur d’Alene police closed off Winton Elementary School and nearby Winton Park on May 23 after passers-by found an explosive device in a park gazebo.
Three hundred children had been let out of school just an hour before the bomb was found.
Wrapped in gray duct tape, the device was made out of an empty cardboard salt container, gunpowder and a fuse, said Capt. Carl Bergh. It appeared to have been lit but then did not detonate.
Investigators at first did not know who had planted the bomb in the park. They called in the Spokane Bomb Squad to safely dispose of the device.
Investigators eventually talked to a friend of Bennett’s who told them that Bennett had put the device in the park, according to a Coeur d’Alene police report.
Bennett told investigators he did not make the explosive device but that another man gave it to him and he merely added the fuse, according to the report.
Bennett said he thought of the device as more of a firecracker he wanted to light.
“It was just somethin’ to do,” he told them.
When it didn’t go off, he just left the explosives in the park, he said.
The teenager told investigators he was surprised the whole area had to be closed off and evacuated.
“I’m afraid people are going to get me confused with the Unabomber and stuff,” he said, according to the report.
Bennett is scheduled to appear in court on the criminal charge on June 28, according to court records.
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