Thursday, July 06, 2006

Pipe Bomb Update: Funny Ha-Ha or Funny Strange?

According to today's Lexington Minuteman, the pipe bomb that kid made in my neighborhood was just part of a hobby he shares with his dad:
James Cooke, who just completed the eighth-grade, developed an interest in chemistry over the past year after science lesson in school. James and his father David, a physicist at Hanscom, often experimented with concepts taught in the classroom. The two recently began a project of mixing chemicals, purchased from online vendors, to make controlled explosions.

Last Friday, James Cooke followed everything his father taught him, even testing the time of the fuse the night before. Unlike when working with his father, James placed the explosives inside a PVC container and capped it, effectively making a firecracker, which is illegal in Massachusetts. The loud bang set off by the exploding plastic notified Michele and a neighbor what her son was up to, hiding behind a picnic table in their yard.
Apparently the noise from the pre-Fourth of July hijinx bummed out James' mom, Michele, who proceeded to call the police, thinking Officer Friendly would just give her son a talking-to. No such luck:
The officer, unsure of what the chemicals were, called the fire chief. The fire chief, following protocol and state law, refused to touch the chemicals, evacuated the home and called the state bomb squad. The news media began circling overhead. The squad came, took away the still-bagged compounds and took them to the town dump on Hartwell Avenue where they were detonated. James is now doing dishes.
It turns out that James and his dad possessed illegally large amounts of explosive materials according to Massachusetts state law. Nevertheless, given all the fuss and bother, Mom Michele is now sorry she called in the cops.
"It was funny," said Michele in retrospect. "It was really, really funny."
Sing along with me now: "So we'll have fun, fun, fun till the bombsquad takes my C4 away..."


Anonymous adamg said...

Has anybody checked to see if the kid's working on a merit badge in atomic energy?

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Ron Newman said...

Does this mean it is illegal to have both Mentos and Diet Coke in your house at the same time?

1:50 PM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

And will the Globe be publishing the Pipe Bomber's Manifesto in an upcoming issue?

And in answer to Ron's question: yes, it is.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I hope they get in trouble because of their blase attitude!

8:24 AM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

Well, I'm guessing that kid won't be getting a car for his birthday any time soon.

At the very least, I feel as though they should reimburse the town for the cost of the emergency response. Some kind of fine.

8:51 AM  

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