Centaurus High Student Arrested In Connection With Pipe Bomb At School Could Be Charged As An Adult

05/14/2013 06:54 pm ET | Updated Jul 15, 2013
  • MITCHELL BYARS The Boulder Daily Camera

Lafayette police announced this morning that they have arrested a 16-year-old male student in connection with an explosive device left at Centaurus High School on Monday.

The teen -- who has not been identified because he is a minor -- was arrested Monday night at his parents' house where further evidence linking the suspect to the explosive device was discovered, according to Lafayette police Chief Rick Bashor.

"Lafayette police along with FBI and ATF worked through the night to solve this case," Bashor said.

The suspect could face charges including two counts of possession of incendiary materials, felony menacing and interfering with an educational institution.

The teen is currently being held in juvenile detention and is scheduled to appear in juvenile court Wednesday.

Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said his office is reviewing the case to see whether the suspect should be charged as an adult and if the charges are appropriate.

"Anything involving the threat of violence or explosives at a school building or involving school children will always be a top priority for my office," Garnett said. "We're going to ask for extra time to review the charges and one of the reasons is we want to know who this young man is and what happened and what the factors may have been."

Bashor did not comment on any possible motive, but he did say he believes the school is not at risk.

"The evidence we found indicates the students are safe and the teachers are safe," Bashor said.

Centaurus junior Annie Nagel said while the incident on Monday was scary, she felt it was safe to return to school today.

"I know police were here for a long time and swept the area," she said. "I trust the people in charge."

But for some of the students returning to school this morning, there were still some lingering concerns.

"I don't think we should have had school today," said freshman Destiny Johnstone. "What if it happens again? I think it's too soon."

An explosive device that police described as being "very similar to a pipe bomb" was found Monday morning by a teacher inside Centaurus High School, forcing the evacuation of the school and the closure of South Boulder Road for several hours.

Lafayette Cmdr. Gene McCausey said the device had a 9-volt battery and could have hurt those in close proximity had it exploded without being removed from the school building by the teacher.

The device was detonated by the Boulder County bomb squad away from the school.

Bashor said while police don't encourage people to handle explosive devices, the unidentified teacher acted on his or her instincts.

"They thought it was the best thing for the students," Bashor said. ___

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